At the south west corner of the Library, overlooking Portugal Street, a stream of blue lights up the building wall. LSE Archivist, Sue Donnelly, writes about LSE’s first digital art work – Blue Rain.

Blue Rain by San Francisco installation artist, Michael Brown, turns the Library inside out by displaying in its flashing blue lights some of its daily business – details of books issued and returned to the Library and the contents of searches on the Library catalogue. The display has 23,520 blue LEDs set in a grid overlooking Portugal Street and is particularly effective at night. The speed of the lights is an indication of the scale of the Library’s collections and use.

Bluerain, an interactive artwork and shimmering cascade of blue light, by the San Francisco based sculptor Michael Brown on the southwest facing wall of the LSE Lionel Robbins Building. 6th October 2009

Bluerain, an interactive artwork and shimmering cascade of blue light, by the San Francisco based sculptor Michael Brown on the southwest facing wall of the LSE Lionel Robbins Building. 6 October 2009. Credit: LSE

The artist, Michael Brown (1961- ) is known in the USA for large scale public works. His interest in making science accessible to the general public has led to collaborations with a number of museums and galleries including the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

The sculptor Michael Brown speaking at the Bluerain reception in the LSE New Academic Building. 6th October 2009

The sculptor Michael Brown speaking at the Bluerain reception, LSE New Academic Building. 6 October 2009. Credit: LSE

The art work was the gift of LSE alumnus Darill Hudson and his partner Paul Boesch.  Darill Hudson was born and brought up in California and after attending the University of California at Berkeley and  arrived at LSE in 1952 on the General Course, focussing on International Relations. During his LSE years London moved from post war rationing to the Swinging Sixties.

Darril Hudson unveiling the Bluerain commemorative plaque at the reception in the LSE New Academic Building. 6th October 2009

Darril Hudson unveiling the Bluerain commemorative plaque at the reception in the LSE New Academic Building. 6 October 2009. Credit: LSE

In 1958 he registered for a MSc (Econ) to study for MSc in International Law focussing on the Jurisdiction and Procedures of International Tribunals and was awarded a School Scholarship in International Law in 1960.

However his main interests lay in international relations and in 1961 he returned to work on his PhD supervised by Professor Geoffrey Goodwin, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations and Professor D H N Johnson, Professor of International and Air Law. Hudson received his PhD for The Ecumenical Movement and World Order in 1965.

Contributed by Sue Donnelly (LSE Archivist)

Read more

Visit Art on campus for further stories from our art collections and contact Sue if you would like to find out more about using the LSE art works around campus.

 

Posts about LSE Library and its collections

Please read our comments policy before commenting