During my sophomore spring semester I was lucky enough to take a trip to Dia:Beacon, which was an amazing experience that I don’t think I will ever forget. But while there I was able to view a type of art that I had only ever seen in photos before: light art.
This type of art is exactly what it sounds like, installations of light that are made into a piece to be viewed. While I was there I had a few thoughts come to mind, mainly questions, that I had never even broached before though they seem so common place.
Essentially, I wondered what the effect of photos taken with these installations had on the piece itself. I have to admit that I am guilty of having taken a few photos with these pieces but it was fun and made for some interesting photos. But does this affect the piece as a whole, does it change the piece a as a whole? In my mind it may add to the meaning of the piece, but not in a meaningful way exactly. It gives it an interactive design without anyone having to touch the piece and risk breaking it in any way. It is one of the least stagnant ways to create and yet it is one of the most fascinating.
Now, obviously this would be a rather new type of art so there are no galleries dedicated to it, though that would be fascinating to see, and it also bears the question, what medium does it fall into? Yes, it is light but it is painting? Sculpture? It can be both and yet neither at the same time, which is why it is so hard to pin down to a gallery.
Should these installations even have their own galleries since they are typically meant to be installed then taken away within a few months? Or would that change if they had a place to be permanently installed? Perhaps it’s the issue of the electricity?
Either way it is an interesting thing to watch as the art develops and begins to become more prominent.