Ode to a wild cactus lamp.

For my final research/ exploration project in glass and light I chose to explore cactus lamps. Traditionally a solitary creature, I was interested in the many ways the cactus lamp can talk about value, cliche, re purposing, mass production, nature, and humor. Through my exploration into neon and the art/industrial sides of the medium I have become increasingly interested in the value of neon. Mass produced neon items, such as cactus’s flood the neon market at relatively low price points  that offer little insight into the effort and skill required to produce these objects. Neon is such an incredibly natural art form, other than the fact that you need gas extraction equipment to harvest these gasses, expensive flame working equipment to bend mass produced glass tubes, and complicated electrical equipment to bombard and fill these tubes. Cactus’s are natural too, right? What do these two natures say about each other? I dont really know, but its interesting isn’t it? By installing these “natural” forms in the mass produced lamp bases of the Salvation Army I have created a juxtaposition between these two worlds while still maintaining the unsettling feeling of machine made industrial non natural lamps. Lastly I chose to display these lamps in their natural habitat, the desert. It seemed only fitting to return them to their home to live out the rest of their short cactus lives together. Is the neon cactus a great prolific statement about the state of man in the world around him, or is it simply an attempt to domesticate a piece of nature in ones living room?


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