Luminaris is a recent stop motion short from Argentine director Juan Pablo Zaramella featuring some delightful sequences using shadows, lightbulbs, and marbles. The film tells the story of a man living in a world controlled and timed by light and the plan he hatches to escape. Luminaris won the Audience Award and Fipresci Award at Annecy 2011, and was included in the Oscars shortlist for Best Animated Short. (via reddit)
Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin constructs stunning (if not slightly disconcerting) anatomical light structures that are fully hollow and filled with ionized krypton, causing them to glow similar to a neon light. The glass skeleton above, Embodiment, is my jaw-dropping favorite of this series. The piece took over 1,000 hours of work over a two year period and is actually built from 10 separate units of glass formed from borosilicate glass tubing. The process of creating something like this is unbelievably painstaking as Franklin shares via email:
Every glass seal has to be perfect, and this piece contains hundreds. Everywhere one tube joins another, or a tube terminates, glass tubes were sealed together. They have to be perfect in order to preserve the luminosity of the krypton. If one rogue molecule gets inside the void of the glass tubing it can eventually contaminate the gas and it will no longer glow. There are times when the holes in the seals are so small that you cannot actually see them with your eyes without the help of a leak detector. Once the glass pieces are ready to get filled with gas, I pull a high vacuum while the glass is hot in order to evacuate any dust or water vapor from the interior surface until there are literally no molecules inside the void of the glass. Then the krypton can be introduced and the glass sealed off. It’s an extremely tedious process, one I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with.
Anatomical Neon is a series of blown glass lights by North Wales-based artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones meant to focus attention on how energy is used by the human body. Describing the four pieces via her website she says:
Brain Wave conveys neurological processing activity as a kinetic and sensory, physical phenomena through its display of moving electric plasma. Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. Heart is a representation of the human heart illuminated by still red neon gas. Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.
The pieces were funded in part by awards from Arts Council Wales and Wales Arts International and executed at Urban Glass in New York in 2010. (via pinterest)
Artist Barry Underwood photographs wonderfully mysterious light installations that he installs on-site in forests, mountainsides, or near lakes and rivers. Via his artist statement:
By reading the landscape and altering the vista through lights and photographic effects, I transform everyday scenes into unique images. Light and color alter the perception of space, while defamiliarizing common objects. Space collapses, while the lights that I install appear as intrusions and interventions. This combination renders the forms in the landscape abstract. Inspired by cinema, land art, and contemporary painting, the resulting photographs are both surreal and familiar. They suggest a larger narrative, and yet that narrative remains elusive and mystifying.
Global rainbow is an ongoing light installation by Yvette Mattern consisting of seven parallel laser beams representing a rainbow that’s being projected over populated urban areas and is meant “to encompass geographical and social diversity in its reach and symbolise hope.” The installation was switched on in the UK for the first time last night over the North Tyneside coastline and will be making several additional stops over the next few weeks. You can read more about Global Rainbow on Mattern’s blog and see tons of great photos here. (via simon lowe, bbc, hervé)
Japanese artist Makoto Tojiki works primarily with light, exploring its use in installations, figurative sculptures, as well as kinetic pieces. His No Shadow works shown above are among my favorite, using long strands of lights to create representations of people and animals. See much more over in his gallery. (via job’s wife)
Cloud Gate, or affectionately The Bean, by Anish Kapoor is probably my favorite public art installation in Chicago. No matter how many times you visit the experience is always different depending on the time of day, the weather, who you’re with, and what’s happening in the general vicinity of the giant mirrored surface. The Bean is in a perpetual state of visual flux.
For the next 10 days Chicago creative ensemble LuftWerk, the creative vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, have capitalized on the sculpture’s reflective properties by turning it into a canvas for a choreographed light show titled Luminous Field. The duo are using an array of ten projectors to create the experience, setting everything to music composed by Owen Clayton Condon of Third Coast Percussion. This is the first site-specific work involving Cloud Gate since its construction in 2004. Luminous Field opens tonight at 6pm and runs through February 20th.
A special thank you to Ken Ilio and Pete Tsai for providing their photography for this post, check out their Flickr pages for more great photos.