Hyperobjectivity in the Art of Lumia by Thomas Wilfred [b.1886 d.1968]

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    Lumia is an early-mid 20th century art form pioneered by a Danish born American artist, Thomas Wilfred. As an early example of new media art, Wilfred developed this unique art form through technological innovation (a series of Lumia devices named 'Clavilux') and various aesthetic experimentations inspired by other art forms including theatre, music and abstract painting. This paper situates the art of Lumia within the field of abstract art at large and applies the concept of 'Hyperobjective' by Timothy Morton to explain Lumia's unique method of abstraction. I describe this method of abstraction as how an image ejects the viewer in motion and contextualise the materiality of Lumia as machine animation and reflective media as a means of perpetually disorienting a point of view. I compare Lumia to other types of abstractions in this presentation, but also to examples of generative art and argue that the aspect of 'Hyperobjectivity' found in Lumia makes the art incomprehensible than infinite or random. By the incomprehensibility, viewers are not embedded in the world of the image produced by Lumia but are strictly out-with the image. Moreover, the silence of Lumia can reiterate this way of abstraction: seeing out-with image or being ejected by the image. In short, Lumia moulds time and space, and the light is there to witness, relay, and participate in the changes in motion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2019
    EventSound/Image 19: Exploring Audiovisual Practice and the Sonic Image - University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Nov 201910 Nov 2019
    https://blogs.gre.ac.uk/sound-image/ (Website.)


    ConferenceSound/Image 19
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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