Larry and Debby Kline artists and provocateurs – installation, performances, and other works

The Electric Fields of California
"Moonlight Sonata" from The Electric Fields of California

“A Moonlight Sonata” from The Electric Fields of California


“With electrical lines crackling overhead, the ambiance of thirty to one hundred atmospherically lit bulbs is aesthetically intriguing-and a little creepy.  At one project site in a vineyard just east of Los Angeles, the grapevines vibrate. If electromagnetic fields are powerful enough to shake vines and their wooden supports, how widespread are their impacts, and do they affect us?”

- Orion Magazine


“Disturbing stuff, considering that children living in homes with high magnetic fields have a greater risk of developing leukemia.”

- Utne Magazine


“Debby and Larry Kline work conceptually with the themes of spectacle and monument, harnessing invisible forces to create monuments that are both troubling and compelling.”    - Camerawork

“As an artwork, it breaks with tradition in scope and the use of physical phenomena in a way that will reach a large, nontraditional art audience.”   -  North County Times

“In the wake of California’s energy crisis, these installations of fluorescent light bulbs strategically placed beneath electrical power towers create an undulating light that is both eerie and beautiful.”    - The Gunk Foundation

“These works bring into view both the invisible electromagnetic fields produced by power lines, the core physical feature of today’s distribution networks, and imposing towers and tracks of unused land beneath the power lines. These works raise numerous questions, ranging from those related to the impact of the electromagnetic fields and the quantities of energy lost in transmission, through to the ways we use and do not use land.”

- Design and Ethics: Reflections on Practice, New York: Routledge, 2012



The Electric Fields of California is a series of installations that deal with health and environmental concerns surrounding electrical transmission and bring a new perspective to the western landscape.  The piece consists of a series of outdoor light sculptures, using ambient electrical fields beneath electrical power lines to illuminate fluorescent light bulbs. Overhead power lines often generate an electrical field strong enough to excite the plasma in fluorescent light bulbs at ground level without the need for electrical connections.  We have created four florescent installations stretching across the state of California from the US/Mexico border to San Francisco.  The installations are temporary, although we are looking for a site on which we can install a permanent light piece.

We feel that this piece has the unique potential to effect public opinion and policy by graphically illustrating the power of these ambient Electromagnetic fields. Many scientists believe that there is a correlation between long-term exposure to strong magnetic fields and incidences of leukemia. As essentially electrical beings, it seems likely that the disruptions caused by poorly insulated electrical conduit can manifest physical effects on humans and animals exposed to these Electromagnetic fields on a regular basis. Energy issues in California have led many to call for massive expansion of energy production, but it should be understood that electrical transmission carries with it certain environmental effects.


A Moonlight Sonata:
Memorial for Ted Kline
The Electric Fields of California,
Site # 3

Niland, CA
(Southeastern edge of the Salton Sea)


Cathedral Gate
The Electric Fields of California,
Site # 1

Chevron Pipeline Company
Kettelman City, CA

The Electric Fields of California,
Site # 4

Sears Point Farming Company
Tubbs Island, Sonoma, CA

Installation sites:
Site # 1     Cathedral Gate, Chevron Pipeline Company, Kettleman City, CA.
Site # 2     Esplanade to a Higher Power,  San Antonio Vineyards, Ontario, CA.
Site # 3     A Moonlight Sonata: Memorial for Ted Kline, Niland, CA, (SE edge of the Salton Sea.)
Site # 4      Encryption, Sears Point Farming Co., Tubbs Island, Sonoma, CA.

This project is partially funded by grants from Gunk Foundation, New York, and the Potrero Nuevo Fund, San Francisco.

© Copyright Larry and Debby Kline, 2002

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