Lightning has struck the archives of the Kungliga biblioteket (the Royal Library). Amidst the 18 million objects collected there since 1661, there’s now also a lightning bolt, by artist Nina Canell. The art work “Impulse slight 1,000,000 volts” is embedded in polyamide and carbon in the National Library’s floor. The artwork was created with carbon from a traditional copy machine and a controlled discharge of about one million volts, through the help of electricity researcher Mahbubur Rahman at Ångströmlaboratoriet in Uppsala. The pattern it has left behind is called Lichtenberg figures (“electrical treeing”) in the flash industry.
Canell was born in 1979 in Växjö, studied at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and has shown her artwork at Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2010) and The Museum of Modern Art in New York (2010).
The art was commissioned by The National Public Art Council Sweden