Architect, artist Phillip K Smith III recently revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead, in Joshua Tree, California during what was expected to be a two day event for a handful of viewers – that turned into more than 400 people making the journey over two weekends. People from as far away as New York City and Canada traveled to the California High Desert to experience it.
“Composed of mirror, LED lighting, custom built electronic equipment and Arduino programming amalgamated with a preexisting structure, this architectural intervention, at first, seems alien in context to the bleak landscape.” says Smith. “Upon further viewing, Lucid Stead imposes a delirious, almost spiritual experience. Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms.”
In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature for the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination. As the sun sets behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in a desolate darkness. This transformation also adapts personal perception, realigning the viewers’ sensory priorities. A heightened awareness of solitude and the measured pace of the environment is realized.
“Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.” adds Smith.