Why fireworks? What do they do for the user? Where do these pretty tools get their power from?
- Ubiquity–its undeniable, primitive appeal dazzling the viewer with something suddenly and shockingly beautiful. One cannot ignore a bursting shell. It automatically arrests the human’s attention.
- Technique--its artistic use of the Promethean medium of fire to express strong human emotion through the precise application of explosive chemicals. When one considers how this same chemistry is used to blow people up, it makes the technology all the more meaningful. When the visual information is mashed up with music (choreographed to an orchestra’s performance), the skill is magnificent.
- Deep appeal--its basis–like all visual art–in light, which may be called an ur-value of humanity, strikes deep chords in the human heart. Light is, according to my primitive understanding of Einstein’s theory, the underlying medium of the cosmos, the only constant we have, and thus the appropriate medium of special information. His “special relativity” paper of 1905 claimed (and it has been verified) that “the speed of light [is] independent of the frame of reference and an ‘upper limit’ on velocity and information transmission.” So when he plays with light in the night sky, man is manipulating the ultimate currency of existence, expressing his extreme emotion (usually joy) in an extremely essential communications medium.
|image of 2006 Sydney Opera show take from Wikimedia|
In those exploding mandalas, in the booms and pows, our spirit’s desire to shoot heavenward, escape gravity, and write large our joy is reflected. Fireworks image the community’s happiness!