The other week, on a small but well-appointed speedboat in the middle of Biscayne Bay, a detachment of Miami real-estate types and a lone journalist were escorted after dark to see an installation by the artist Yvette Mattern.
Best viewed from the water, Mattern’s piece appeared first as a single intense beam of light emanating from the landward side; as the craft chugged on, the shaft seemed to separate into discrete bands, an array of seven familiar shades that raked across the night sky from horizon to horizon.
“Roy G. Biv,” said one onlooker, recalling the old science-class acronym.
Bobbing in place for several minutes, the group snapped the obligatory photos and marveled at the colorful spectacle overhead. Conversation had heretofore been kept to a minimum, save for the stray remark about how much money this or that waterfront estate had sold for.