What is it ? A mystery ? An object from outer space ? From what period of history did it emerge? Which era ? Who could have invented such an object ? These are the first questions that spring to mind when you see the ISP lamp, the work of a young ‘engineer-artist’.
He’s 30 years old. His name is Ilia Sergeevich Potemine. ISP is a mini-revolution in the lighting world. Aesthetically, it resembles nothing on earth. It’s not inspired by any existing lamp, nor is it a reproduction of some obscure design from a bygone era. It is a resolutely contemporary object. A jewel of a lamp that illuminates a mysterious universe. At the same time it is a mechanical jewel, one that is encased in a simple brass capsule. ISP makes us all masters of light: it has no switch, no dimmer. From obscurity to light with a period of eclipse in between, our relationship to the object is itself part of the experience. ISP switched off, eclipsed or lit-up, the object is… (It’s up to you to write the ending.)
Ilia Sergeevich Potemine is Russian. Better still, he’s Italian-Russian : the original double agent. You may think he’s a designer. In reality he’s an airline pilot. The sky is his playground, the sun a revolutionary star and he has only dropped in on this earth for the time it takes for a quick layover. For the time it takes to design the extraordinary lights that are in complete contrast with what the mainstream is doing.
Flashback : for a nanosecond Howard Hughes comes to mind. And Potemine has taken off again. No law, no order. Except perhaps Achille Castiglioni who was the original radical, inventing the lights of the future at a time when creativity was bound only by time and space. Ilia Potemine, just 30 years old, is in the same vein. His ISP lamp is rooted in the same manifesto and defies classification.