prototype of the artwork, the final installation will differ
In a dimly lit room there is a light bulb slowly swinging from side to side. By its motion it submerges a meters high, projected face in a varying light and shadow play. The visitors are able to exert an influence from the outside, grasp the luminescent pendulum and change its direction. Driven by a motor at the ceiling, the pendulum returns to its initial side-by-side movement after a certain period without external influence.
With the help of real-time calculations, not only the bulb but the whole lighting situation in front of the projection is reflected on the face, so that the virtual sculpture is lit as if it was part of the real space. The spatial sound of the work is the simulation of a low humming, swinging bell that is synchronized with the movement of the pendulum.
I will average the face by taking 3D scans from multiple people of different gender and age, so it does not have a fixed identity. The look into and through the swinging light that the work stages symbolizes a form of hypnosis. The face is overlooking the world and is at the same time removed from it, floating in a suspended state.
The light may stand for many things but surely for an authority that bonds and binds us. Perhaps for something adorable or a belief, perhaps more simply for our secular media full of interesting, invented stories. To me, both the sculpture and the light represent our fixation onto something that is at the same time beautiful and empty: like the beauty in advertisement, the colorful products of our consumer world or a way of life that is predestined since the education of our childhood and can lead to self-exploitation. Like the promise of an endless life. Or the smile we can see on so many of our holiday pictures, although we are actually very different and much more than that.
By showing a silent face in excessive perfection, I am using an iconic element that also appears in religious contexts. Taking a close look, its depth is an illusion. This silent beauty, the stasis of the face that only comes to life and gains a body by the light, to me is the actual error, comparable to the inability to live truly and truthfully in a world of invented thoughts and dreams, like the real value of money, the possibility of safety in our own country or the beauty of everlasting youth.
However, these thoughts and dreams attract us. The almost immaterial light of thoughts, that we use to illuminate our worlds of experience, has very real consequences. And like every hypnosis is self-hypnosis, we are the ones who let themselves be guided and misguided by patterns of thoughts. We decide if we let ourselves be lead by our own and foreign concepts, or if we dissent. We can give ideas a value and add weight to them by our own acting. So in the end, we create the “weight of light” ourselves at the threshold of thinking, feeling, acting and remembering.
technique and setup
lighting test with so-called spherical harmonics