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Light Currents

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2nd Oct 2008

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Article Image
Tim White-Sobieski's Light Currents, Pulse 2008
Article Image
Tim White-Sobieski's Light Currents, Pulse 2008
Article Image
Tim White-Sobieski's Light Currents, Pulse 2008

A sense of detachment floods the viewer of Tim White-Sobieski's latest light and video works, one of a few highlights from the Pulse Art Fair 2008, New York. Light Currents adds to the repertoire of Tim, who is already one of the world's leading video artists. He is best known for his 20 meter long installation in the Louis Vuitton collection in Paris and a growing list of stunning videos, including Desire, Vertigo and Terminal.

This 3D installation presents mildly pulsating LED lights that reinterpret highly influential work from the Light-and-Space movement of the 1960s and 1970s led by James Turrell, with Robert Irwin and others. Tim updates the idea of working with pure light by integrating technology into the story: the pieces use light emitting diods, computer programming and controlled light to create new visions of images in his earlier films. The result is a mesmerizing entity that practically hypnotizes the viewer.

Tim's previous video work has often looked at the abstract, featuring videos that turn a large scale projection into fabrics and backdrops that merge and blend over the course of the video. The backdrops created are perfect for running against a larger event, as they add to the aural experience rather than overtake it.

The central idea behind Light Currents is to examine the role of the individual in relation to the macrocosm - what Tim describes as "a series of spiritual layers" that emanate from the individual outward. As a mirror, the light works are designed to reflect this perspective.

Meanwhile, the continued success of cutting edge contemporary art at Pulse, and the larger New York Armory Show, highlight the increasingly central role that technology is playing in the development of art. Not only does the integration of technology answer age old artistic questions about progress and what the human experience values in the culture, it makes possible the realization of things only previously imagined. Light Currents functions as a living, pulsating piece, telling a story through simple emanation, forcing the viewer to create his or her own story in a language that can only be understood through emotion.

Tim's work aptly raises the question: at what point does the use of technology in itself constitute an exploration of art? Its not just that art should be beautiful, reflective or inspiring. At some point the technology itself begins to reflect the culture, and its very technicality becomes the true innovation/inspiration.

Light Currents is presented at Pulse by Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna.