The Luminosity exhibition (viewable in Lexington from March – April 2014) featured ourselves four light artists/teams: Rune Guneriussen (Norway), Jen Lewin (Boulder, Colorado), Valerie Fuchs (Louisville, Kentucky), and ourselves. According to the LAL’s website, “the site specific sculpture, installation, photography and media of Luminosity will support active engagement opportunities and collaborative community partnerships through its construction, installation and ability to educate and inspire both children and adults.”
Rune Guneriussen’s work will be familiar to anyone who frequents art + design blogs. Immaculate arrangements domestic lamps illuminate various landscapes, uniting natural and manufactured worlds. While the installations themselves are beautiful, their transience, reliance on environment, and a secretive process makes them very site specific. As part of Luminosity, Rune exhibited a series of large photographs of his work – only furthering our desire to see him in action! You can see more of his work here.
Jen Lewin is a light/interactive artist based in Boulder, Colorado. With an emphasis on play, community interaction, and uber-technologies, Jen’s work is attractive, colourful, and brilliantly crafted. A week after meeting Jen in Lexington, we had the pleasure of installing works in the same festival in Singapore! (More about that later). At Loudoun House, one of her laser harps invites viewers to engage physically with light, playing ghost strings that trigger resonant notes in the dark room. You can see more of her work here.
Valerie Fuchs is a new media artist based in Lexington, Kentucky. Her works cover a massive territory, including themes of natural disaster, time, environment, space, and more. For the Luminosity exhibition, she engaged viewership on a physical level, inviting audiences to observe her work in the palms of their open hands via miniature projections. While we didn’t manage to see her finished work before sneaking off to Singapore, we were delighted to meet her in passing.
This was the context surrounding BELLWETHER at Loudoun House as part of Luminosity. Built from 700 hand-cut glass bottles, LEDs, vibration sensors, and electronics, BELLWETHER marries new and analog technologies, transforming simple motion into sound and light.
Viewers are invited to explore BELLWETHER, stepping into the darkness beneath overhanging bells, ringing them as they move and activating the bells, causing them to flicker like fireflies. As the viewer walks through the field of bells, they leave a luminous trail of tinkling light behind them.
Interactive by its very nature, a bell cannot ring without a catalyst, whether that force is a living being, the wind, or some other external activator. In this sense, a ringing bell is evidence of a nearby presence, tracing ghosts of movement through vibration and sound.
A “bellwether” is an omen, a predictor of the future. While whimsical and alluring, BELLWETHER’s use of familiar materials gently indicates the complex relationship between humans and consumable goods – the ghosts of our presence in this world – and asks audiences to re-imagine common place discarded items and their potential to create experiences in the place of garbage.