New light sculpture near the old gate

28 December 2016

In January 2017, visitors can admire a new light sculpture 0° / 0° by Meeus van Dis in the passageway of the old gate at Marineterrein Amsterdam. The piece was inspired by the nautical instrument the sextant, which was first used around 1767 to determine the angle between an astronomical object and the horizon for the purposes of celestial navigation. Sextants were used to determine the direction of the final destination by first determining the position of the sun and/or the pole star in relation to the horizon. The sculpture 0° / 0° was developed based on two elementary principles of the sextant: the position of the sun and the location. This information was used to determine one’s location and to map the appropriate course. One light bulb represents the sun and six custom-made tube lights symbolize the position at sea: three for longitude and three for latitude.

This sculpture by Meeus van Dis (Amsterdam, 1978) highlights the use of light and research on its significance. Its physical translation is expressed in spatial composition, construction, and activation.

How does a sextant work?