LED art,

Pasatiempo - - North­ern Lights -

prac­tice. “The three ar­chi­tec­tural pieces that are in the show are dif­fer­ent as­pects of it.” Those pieces are Step Right Up, Lit­tle Boxes, and Melt­down, which de­picts small cast-ce­ramic homes in var­i­ous stages of melt­ing into pools. Lit from be­neath by LEDs that il­lu­mi­nate ar­chi­tec­tural plans (pen­cil and ink draw­ings on My­lar) from Den­ney’s own prac­tice, the melt­ing homes are cast in a sickly green glow. “It’s not just the value melt­ing away,” the artist said, “it’s the pro­found im­pact it has had on peo­ple who are hav­ing to deal with that. There’s so much per­sonal iden­tity that’s tied up in a home.” Step Right Up shows sim­i­lar ce­ramic homes half sub­merged in glass bowls of wa­ter, pos­si­bly in ref­er­ence to the bad deals home buy­ers found them­selves in af­ter fi­nanc­ing their homes with un­scrupu­lous lenders. The piece is lit from above with an LED that sub­tly changes col­ors, cast­ing a soft, uni­form pas­tel hue to the sculp­ture. “I use a lot of LEDs in more con­ven­tional forms with ar­chi­tec­tural works,” Den­ney said. “I was some­what fa­mil­iar with what was unique about it in terms of light­ing, but this is the first time I spent much time work­ing with it as an ele­ment in my sculp­ture.”

The artists put LED tech­nol­ogy to use in many dif­fer­ent ways. Some work is il­lu­mi­nated from with­out, some from within — as with Chuck Zim­mer’s Box. Zim­mer’s work is a cube form over­laid with dyed fab­ric treated with en­caus­tics. The light from within gives the sur­face an ap­pear­ance rem­i­nis­cent of stained glass. Greg Chaprnka’s HD video Cas­tle in Slo­vakia takes a live video feed of the gallery and in­ter­lays the images with lo­ca­tion shots of a ru­ined cas­tle the Mary­land na­tive once vis­ited overseas. His video presents an ab­stracted fu­sion of dif­fer­ent times and places.

None of the artists whose work is pre­sented here al­low the in­no­va­tive use of LED tech­nol­ogy to su­per­sede aes­thetic con­sid­er­a­tions and, hence, the work does not come off as nov­elty but as art.

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