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Circulus Vitae

Artist: Blackstone, Luke
Located at: 131 West 16th Street, North Vancouver
Neighbourhood: City Centre
Category: Developer
Status: Existing
Sponsor: City of North Vancouver

This artwork represents the parallel between nature and human life. The title, Circulus Vitae, is Latin for Life Circle. The artwork connects the relationship between trees - as part of our environment and human breath - and life. The display window is representative of the human breath. The two glass cylinders fill and expel with air, gently moving up and down every 4 seconds - similar timing to a relaxed breathing rate. The air from this breath gently moves the leaf counter balance and tilts the mercury switch to activate the LED counter. The number of breaths are counted at the display window through the etched binary numbers on the bottom.

The exterior art panel shows the trees annual rings. The tree rings are representative of different species of native trees: cedar, hemlock and fir; each one is etched into a brushed aluminum segment. Each individual segment, from left to right, represent a binary counting system and the segment lights up as the breaths At the end of the year, the entire art panel will be lit and the wooden spoon will tap the glass cylindrical lungs, celebrating the beginning of a new year. occur, and counting progresses. By looking at which segments are lit, the viewer can count the number of breaths that have occurred.



About the Artist:

Luke Blackstone makes kinetic sculptures that explore the shifting frontiers between human beings and machines. He works with old and discarded materials and technologies, collecting the components of his art from salvage yards, alleys and thrift shops. Mr. Blackstone teaches at Langara College in Vancouver, BC.