Light artwork from 1990 shines again after comprehensive restorations
<White - as the sum of all colours, as complexity, entirety of the senses>
Wulf Herzogenrath, Berlin 22.11.1990 Excerpt from exhibition catalogue of Weisses Haus, 1990 | Translation by Alice Hinrichs
The spacial light sculpture <Weisse Zeit> by Thorbjørn Lausten, in which incandescent light bulbs create an energy field from within, has been restored in close cooperation with the artist and supported by FACTORY and TW Stiftung. On occasion of Berlin Art Week 2018, the curatorial platform for light art ARTE LUCE showed it to a small group of people at Factory Görlitzer Park on Friday, September 28. It will be exhibited for the first time in 28 years to the public at the light art exhibition at Alte Münze Berlin entitled <extended-mind>.
Thorbjørn Lausten’s work can be placed at the intersection of art and science. Since the 1960s, the self- taught artist from Denmark with a background in constructivism and concrete art has worked with a variety of media such as painting, drawing, installations, light sculptures, spaces and data visualisations. Much of his work is dedicated to give form to philosophical concepts and invisible scientific phenomena. His data visualisations translate large amounts of scientific data, such as weather statistics, radiation, geomagnetism, or spacial measurements, into his unique artistic form in collaboration with scientists and technicians.
The work <Weisse Zeit> deals with the relationships between energy, information, light and time. It mediates between absence-presence, intention-coincidence, structure-confusion, physical-metaphysical, and visualisation-suggestion using programmed light intervals, which may seem coincidental at first but are in fact communicating to the visitor; as some spell <LIGHT>, <LICHT>, and <LYS> in morse code, while others are visualising the most harmonic sequence of all, the Fibonacci series in increasing numerical values. It is also the absence of light which carries information, where the change of shadows immersive the exhibition architecture and challenge the visitors’ perception of depth, color and time. As an interactive element of the work, the artist wishes to leave it up to the visitor to decipher the codes, or to simply appreciate the radiative energy which it emits.
After its original creation in 1990 at Weisses Haus Gallery in Hamburg, the first German gallery for media- and light art founded by Thomas Wegner, the work was kept in several storages over the years and had not been exhibited since. Over 28 years later, using the original components available <Weisse Zeit> can finally be presented in its former glory.
The Light Art Weekend is an annual exhibition series organised by ARTE LUCE that aims to combine scientific theories and concepts with international light art at unconventional venues. The first edition <extended-mind> running from 30.11. to 02.12.2018 in the historic basement of Alte Münze in Berlin, takes its title from the seminal paper published by Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998 about the field of extended cognition and externalism. The philosophy stipulates that the mind, the body and the environment can be seen as a whole cognitive system, as such the mind is extended into the world. Twelve light artists, including Thorbjørn Lausten, will present interactive and site-specific artworks using light as the main medium, as well as a range of other perceptual cues such as sound and touch.
Artist concept - Thorbjørn Lausten
Curation and project lead - Alice Hinrichs, ARTE LUCE
Communication assistant - Camille Franke
Electrical engineer - Derek Fead
Production assistants - Nicholas Miller & Marten