Lighter Than Air: The Rise (and Fall) of American Helium

5382 CLUI photo

Helium, a light, noble element, is abundant in the universe, but is rare in the atmosphere, as it is always rising and escaping into space. A century ago, gas fields with high concentrations of helium were discovered in the middle of the country, and the government took over its production, guiding nearly a hundred years of airship evolution. This exhibit explores our efforts to capture and harness the persistent rise of this lighter-than-air gas, between its confinement in the ground, and its escape into the heavens. It is a portrait of our relationship with this invisible element, drawn from an examination of helium's passage over the landscape of the nation.

ON DISPLAY AT CLUI LOS ANGELES FROM DECEMBER 28, 2018