by Pauline Roberts
In February, an extraordinary piece of art–and-science, aptly named “Field”, was created for all to see on a hill outside Bristol. Richard Box, the artist-in-residence at Bristol University’s Physics Department (yes, you read that correctly) wanted to show the effect and extent of the electromagnetic field (EMF) generated by the transmission of electricity along the power lines, whilst simultaneously creating a unique piece of art that powerfully demonstrated the melding of the polarities of art and science.
In true Jedi fashion, if you take a fluorescent tube and wave it close (though not too close please) to a major power line, under the right atmospheric conditions (moist air is more conductive than drier conditions, and the resultant effect is obviously more spectacular at night) the EMF generated by the power line as it transmits electricity along the wires should be sufficient to make the tube glow. Since EMFs obey the inverse square law regarding distance, the field and therefore effect drops off dramatically with distance, but from the power line to the ground – approximately 40 ft – is usually sufficient for the tube to be affected. What if that were your house underneath?
The artist also explained that there was an interactive element to the work since people, being better conductors than the glass tubes, drew some of the EMF to themselves, thence dimming the tube effect. Other effects are a ‘crackling’ sound, a smell (air ionisation effects) and one’s hair standing slightly on end!
That which is of interest to art and science is of course of interest to us dowsers. For the purists, Field may not be an example of an Earth energy in the natural sense, but it is an energy on Earth which can affect us, and many within the EEG and BSD spend their time mitigating just such effects when called upon to do so.
Living in Australia, I could not see the hexagonal arrangement of 1301 fluorescent tubes ‘planted’ at one end for myself but the pictures seemed to give the much vilified transmission lines a temporary soul, and a reminder that light can come from that which we might indeed call ‘dark’.
However, luckily, a small group of Bristol Dowsers braved the cold and icy conditions to visit Field and dowse the effects and I am indebted to Steve Sutton for his report and photograph.
“We had initially intended to see if anyone could, by using intent, move the EMF and thereby make the tubes go out or dim. However, due to the icy conditions preventing some from traveling, this did not occur, and I contented myself with dowsing the extent of the field to determine whether the increase in negative direction did match up with the increase in light output from the tubes i.e. approximately 4-5 m from the outer conductors of the pylon at ground level. The question I used was “when does the EMF become strong enough to be harmful for a person spending a prolonged period of time there”. In hindsight, I could have refined that question but the bone-chilling cold didn’t help with clarity of thought!
Since members of the public were spending time at Field, I did visualise a dome of light anchored at four corners to the earth to divert any non-beneficial energies away from the visiting public. None of the tubes under the dome went out or were affected in any visual way, but there again, that wasn’t the intent of that particular exercise.”
It would have been interesting to see if the field could have been moved in such a ‘visible’ way as there is so much about the ‘intent’ process that we have yet to quantify and qualify—are there limits, or once we gain the ‘knack’ are we unlimited? If anyone has tried to affect such man-made fields in anyway — either in situ, or by map dowsing and has some results to share, your EEG editors would love to hear from you.
(For those of you who might be concerned, no tubes were harmed in the making of this art work. Richard used old and redundant tubes from hospitals and office buildings which were presumably glad to have one last flicker in the novel experience of fresh air.)
© 2004 Pauline Roberts & BSD EEG