Sometimes a particular technique (or technology) pervades an industry so entirely that subsequent generations don’t realize that the techne was once new. Today, ‘bounce lighting,’ the use of a reflective surface to redirect light towards a subject or scene, is a standard cinematographic (and still photography) technique. However, it was an innovation as recently as the mid-1900s.
Light Pioneers, Part II
Light Pioneers, Part I
Generation Xers grew up with Lite-Brites, toys that allowed artistic children to create drawings by sticking colored pegs into black paper on a light box. These glowing works of art were electrifying in the dark, more than the sum of the colored pegs (at least to the maker) and a source of endless pleasure.
Artist Leo Villareal’s light installations tap into the same sense of wonder. Currently on view at the San Jose Art Museum, a survey of Villareal’s work shows a passion for light expressed as emergent phenomena. By ‘emergent,’ I mean that which spontaneously self-organizes in a way that can’t be predicted by simply viewing and stringing together each component of the whole, like a swarm of insects or snowfall. (Some believe that human consciousness itself is an emergent phenomena arising out of the interconnection of neurons. For an interesting counterpoint, check out dualist Thomas Nagle’s essay What Is It Like to Be A Bat?)
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At the Palo Alto Institute, new ideas and perspectives are explored and played with on a daily basis. Our blog is a place for us to share some of these ideas and insights with our community. We'll throw in the occasional recipe or other tidbit, too, just for fun. Enjoy!