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Long Wave

David Rokeby exhibition

June 5, 2009 - June 20, 2009

Brookfield Place Toronto
181 Bay St.,
Toronto, M5J 2T3

Long wave is a site specific installation that was commissioned by Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts + Creativity and was on view at the Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, Toronto, June 5 – 20, 2009. It is a 380 foot long, 60 foot high sculpture tracing a helix through the entire length of the galleria. The helix is constructed from 63 large red spheres hanging from the Santiago Calatrava designed arches of the galleria, rising from just above visitors’ heads right up to the vaults of the ceiling.

“long wave” is a materialization of a radio wave, a normally invisible, but constantly present feature of environment. It represents the length of a radio wave in the short-wave radio band, in between the sizes of AM and FM radio waves. In our contemporary wireless environment, populated by tiny centimeter long wifi transmissions, these radio waves are really the dinosaurs of our communications era. Appropriately, “long wave” also resembles the suspended backbone of an oversized brontosaurus.

The sculpture is static, but it is designed to appear to transform its shape as you move through the galleria. It plays with the architecture, honouring and at the same time toying with and destabilizing the formal regularity of the soaring, cathedral-like space.