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The Luminous Box

By Andrey Ustinov

“The Luminous Box” is a weathered lineside telephone box, which represents a photo on luminous film in the front frame of the box. The site where the telephone box was found was an abandoned railway track in a wasteland by Cologne-Buchforst. The photo shows the telephone box itself and parts of the surrounding area, where the box was originally found. As soon as the sun sets, the twilight control switch activates the LED strips behind the photo film and, similar to a light box, the photo becomes visible. So that this process could be repeated night after night, solar collectors were installed on the roof of the former telephone box and the solar battery was installed in the box itself. In this way, the former telephone box was converted into a perpetual “Luminous Box” in the darkness of the wasteland.

Ten days after the installation, the “Luminous Box” was broken open and looted by persons unknown. The solar collectors, the solar battery and the LED strip were taken. The box itself was still hanging in its original place.

Andrey Ustinov: I was born in 1975 in Luga, former Soviet Union. 2003, I moved to Germany, where I graduated from the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. My site-specific works, performances, and media art projects deal with such topics as subjectivity, property, resources, and power. I have participated in numerous international exhibitions, biennials, and festivals, among others, the 1st Prague Biennale (2003) / Czech, the 50th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2004) / Germany, Rendez-Vous Lyon (2008) / France, Flaherty NYC at Anthology Film Archives (2013) / USA, Media Art Biennale WRO' 2017 in Wrocław / Poland. I currently live and work in Cologne / Germany.