When an artwork features both high-intensity lasers and a carbon fiber sculpture to keep spectators back, you know it's not going to be dull. Rita McBride's Particulates art installation at the Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea, New York features 16 lasers, scattered by particles of dust and water, forming a visual depiction of a science fiction "wormhole." The barrier, meanwhile, is meant to keep you away from said lasers, which are strong enough to do some harm.
The low-key exhibition is located at Dia:Chelsea, a former factory where marble was cut (by saws, not lasers). As spotted by Design Milk, there's a sign outside the entrance door warning of laser radiation of 1.2 watts per beam, easily enough to damage your vision or burn you.
McBride drew inspiration from another exhibition at Dia:Chelsea by Dan Flavin, a minimalist piece called untitled, to you Heiner. That features a low, metal barrier 110 feet long adorned with green fluorescent lights that transform the drab cement space into something otherworldly.
Much like Flavin, McBride's piece was conceived specifically for the Dia space and uses green light, in this case from lasers. However, it varies in that the light itself forms the "sculpture," and is separated and delineated by the carbon-fiber fence structure for both artistic and safety reasons. Unlike most sculptures, it's unaffected by gravity, and with the powerful lasers, would be an infinitely large piece unbounded by space if not for the back wall.