Elusive Electricity

Elusive Electricity (Ejet, Ejet)
in collaboration with
Hirumi Nanayakkara
and Bassam Jalgha
July 2011
260cm x 70 cm
Neon, Steel, Motion Sensor,
Cables, Custom Electronics

EE is an interactive installation that examines people’s interaction with Lebanese electricity, an infamously broken infrastructure that they have learnt to live without, or in spite of. Over the past 25 years, electricity shortages in Lebanon have reached 20 hours a day, creating a sinister imaginary persona that commands life across social, financial and political lines, and seems to constantly play hard to get.

“Elusive Electricity” embodies this immaterial persona, recreating the feeling of excitement, speculation, confusion and ultimately tension associated with whether or not electricity “has come”, a question that can come up over a dozen times a day in an average home. The piece shines a bright neon light intriguing the passer-by, but as one comes closer, the light flickers, dims, buzzes, and ultimately pops: power is out and the room is dipped into darkness. Electricity is elusive, and now it’s gone, all it leaves behind is an aggravation that transforms into numbing calm, and a hope it will come back soon, albeit temporarily, albeit unannounced – it will always be welcome.