“A Dangerous Proposition,” is about the radical idea of public education. It activates the metaphoric power of objects, as well as their literal and material properties. The danger of electric bulbs hovering just above water, combined with their evocation of enlightenment, and juxtaposed with the glass ‘empty vessels’ offers a strong metaphor for the potentially radical act of education. As Yeats said “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” He was echoing Plutarch: "The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."
The Chipstone Foundation made a wonderful video about the project: