Cradle Pool, an installation about how fates are inextricably linked, is a five-minute cyclical work of phosphorescent sculpture, light, sound, and video. The inspiration for the work came from three Grey Whales who became trapped under the ice at Point Barrow, Alaska, in October 1988. Television made their plight international, as millions watched the whales, desperate for air, pressing through a small breach in the ice. Experts from the United States and the Soviet Union (the original superpowers with nuclear bombs) tried to free them, but in the end, one whale died. The two others were saved, only by virtue of the knowledge of indigenous whale hunters.
In Cradle Pool, radiant energy is absorbed, the black room goes dark and the sculpture imparts initial bright green phosphorescence, then an afterglow. The afterglow period is dependent upon the amount of radiant energy absorbed, the darkness of the environment, and the dark adaptation of the observer’s eyes. When the lights come on to charge the sculptures so does projection of the whales. The sounds of their cries remained continuous throughout the presentation’s video and light cycle.