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Green laser to be projected between two BU towers' rooftops as part of weekend art display

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  October 9, 2013 02:20 PM

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(Florian Dombois / BU Today)

A laser will be projected from the rooftops of two tall buildings more than a half mile apart on Boston University’s campus this weekend as part of a temporary public art display, officials said.

The laser will cut across Boston’s skyline and is expected to be visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike, the BU bridge, the adjacent Charles River and other busy public spots nearby.

BU Police posted an advisory on the department’s website Wednesday to let the campus community know about the “Talking Towers” project ahead of time.

The laser will beam from between the School of Law building and the Student Village 2 residence hall from dusk until dawn between Thursday Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 13.

The project is being led by artist Florian Dombois, according to the Boston Art Commission’s website.

The work will be the “artistic centerpiece” for the 2013 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts presented by TransCultural Exchange and hosted at BU.

“The piece will underscore the Conference's aim to help artists not only learn about ways that they can engage with their international peers, but also ways that their work can engage in other fields of discipline,'' the commission’s website said.

A live stream of the dialog between the two buildings will be available online here once the project is up and running.

“Dombois typically works with specific places, using maps and topography,” the website said. “His art explores the relationship between art and science – in particular, seismic activity. In this way, scientific experiments take on an artistic character and art becomes a science.”

The laser is completely safe to look at, Lynne Allen, director of BU's visual arts school told the university's news website, BU Today. Allen said the beam should not be confused with medical lasers, which are much more powerful and require precautionary measures.

This story was updated on Friday, Oct. 11 with new information, including to note that the artist decided to change the laser's color from red to green.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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