What does light look like? Luke Jerram’s kinetic sculpture makes light visible by converting photons into movement. As infrared light (from the sun and tiny LEDs) shines on the sculpture, it warms up the vanes inside each glass globe, or radiometer. The black sides of the paddles absorb more heat than the white sides, and the uneven heat distribution causes the vanes to spin. Because the process only occurs within a near-vacuum, radiometers containing more air will spin less. With 330 radiometers delicately wired to an acrylic framework, the sculpture shimmers, casting flickering shadows onto the nearby walls. It also emits a faint clinking—the sound of light.



  • Title: Chrysler Chandelier
  • Creator: Luke Jerram
  • Creator Lifespan: b.1974
  • Creator Nationality: English
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Birth Place: Stroud, United Kingdom
  • Date Created: 2014
  • Location Created: Bristol, United Kingdom
  • Provenance: Commissioned from the artist through Heller Gallery, New York, NY, by the Chrysler Museum of Art, November 2013, and installed by the artist March 28 - April 1, 2014.
  • Physical Dimensions: 17 ft., 66 lb. (518.1 cm, 29.9 kg)
  • Credit Line: Museum commission with support from the Christiane and James Valone Charitable Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, in honor of Denise Gabrielle Jacot des Combes and Leslie Ellis, and Ethel Morrison Fielder and James Valone
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Glass radiometers, acrylic, stainless steel cable, and LED circuits

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