The Electrum Project

Electrum is a sculpture that employs lightning as the major component. Real lightning , which is very rarely seen up close, has the ability to focus and clear the mind. The work stands 38 feet tall and is essentially a column with a sphere on the top. Concealed within the sculpture is a 130,000 watt Tesla Coil. The Tesla Coil is the largest of its kind in the world. Lightning discharges up to fifty feet in length emanate in all directions from the top of the sphere.

The Electrum project is a collaboration between Greg Leyh, high voltage engineer from Lightning on Demand (LOD) in San Francisco, and Eric Orr, sculptor. Leyh represents the scientific aspect that has allowed Orr to manifest a work of art that is singular in its power to transform the moment. Orr has combined primary materials in a number of his water and fire sculptures. The Electrum sculpture is an evolution of Orr's work towards absolute simplicity. The sculpture has the sense of pure industrial strength art. The viewer is bathed in the raw force of nature.

Electrum was commissioned by a prominent New Zealand art patron. The work was installed on his farm in April 1998 outside of Auckland. Pictures of the contruction, testing and installation effort are available in the photo galleries below.

  The video documentary "Electrum" by Alberta Chu is available here.


Photo Galleries

CONSTRUCTION EFFORT
TESTING AT HUNTER'S POINT NAVAL SHIPYARD
NEW ZEALAND INSTALLATION

ELECTRUM TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS