Circulus Vitae

Artist: Blackstone, Luke
Category: Developer
Status: Existing
Sponsor: City of North Vancouver


Based on the Latin word for Life Circle, Circulus Vitae represents the parallel between nature and human life.  The artwork speaks to the connection between trees as part of our environment and human breath and life. The display window is representative of the human breath. 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, with each etched into a brushed aluminum segment.  Each individual segment, represents a binary counting system and the segment lighting up as it breathes.  When the entire art panel is lit and the wooden spoon taps the glass cylindrical lungs, celebrating the beginning of a new year. 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.