Lumia without Light

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Lumia was an early to mid 20th century visual art form pioneered by Danish born American artist Thomas Wilfred. Historically, Lumia emerged in the tail end of colour music and declared the independence of light as an art form. Wilfred rejected any associations between colour music and Lumia, and used music as a metaphoric counterpart to consolidate the independence of light. Wilfred argued that Lumia exists in the architecture of darkness as opposed to silence of music, and its materiality reveals its exclusive structure of performance.

This paper proposes Lumia as a structure of performance and draws critical comparisons with other models of structure including Epic Theatre by Bertolt Brecht, Sculpture Musicale by Marcel Duchamp, Carnivalesque by Mikhail Bakhtin, and Theatre of the Absurd by Samuel Beckett.

Through comparative analysis between the above structures as well as a metaphoric adaptation of Lumia as a structure of sound, Trent Kim argues that Thomas Wilfred’s Lumia has suggested a new paradigm for storytelling where the world is revealed by the perspective of light. It offers potential for other performance art forms to construct their performance through the structure of Lumia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2020
EventSeeing Sound 2020 - Bath Spa University (Online), Bath, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Dec 202013 Dec 2020 (Event's website.)


ConferenceSeeing Sound 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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