TNIII0II0#II: Thomas Wilfred | Fatima Al Qadiri & Transforma | Robert Lippok & Lucas Gutierrez

Luminar #52 | Extraordinary Alien | Non-Face

Join us for one of Thomas Wilfred’s light-painting compositions, Fatima Al Qadiri and Transforma’s exploration of the “Extraordinary Alien” as well as Robert Lippok and Lucas Gutierrez’ investigation of impossible objects – items that may look realistic but cannot possibly exist in the real world.

Thomas Wilfred: Luminar #52

Thomas Wilfred: Luminar #52

© AJ Epstein

  • 15 min / 16 min / 15 min

Past Dates

Thomas Wilfred: Luminar #52 (1928)

With his lumia instruments that created compositions from electrical, mechanical and reflective elements, the American light artist Thomas Wilfred (1889-1968) created a new art form at the crossroads between technology and modern art. The light paintings he composed – meditative, northern lights-like colour symphonies –, and which he presented quietly without musical accompaniment, earned him a place in the Museum of Modern Art, New York as part of the exhibition “15 Americans” in 1952 together with Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.

In collaboration with the Epstein Collection and Stiftung Planetarium Berlin, four of his works that were originally presented as screen and ceiling projections have been re-filmed and adapted for the first time for the largest visual space of our age, allowing them to be experienced in a new way. His symphonies will be presented in silence.

Fatima Al Qadiri & Transforma: Extraordinary Alien

”Extraordinary Alien” is based on the US artist visa classification, “alien with extraordinary ability”. It plays with the double meaning of the word “alien” and the notion that all outer space aliens are inherently extraordinary, from the perspective of lowly earthlings. This explains the tendency in science fiction films towards glimpses leading up to a big reveal when the alien is fully unveiled in front of the viewer. This reveal is often followed by disappointment in the alien form, one that rarely meets our extraordinary expectations. How is it that our imagination is incapable of creating a compelling alien form beyond a scant selection perpetuated by Hollywood films?

In this work, the artists explore the push and pull of tension, repetition and expectation – what is being revealed? Using a collection of simple materials, a range of textures is generated to appear as planetary surfaces, galaxies and alien skins. The use of these materials is deliberate, aiming to highlight the sci-fi qualities of earthly objects. The soundtrack is based on a single phrase repeated with different sounds as a motif for the alien and their environment that are teased, but never fully revealed.

Robert Lippok & Lucas Gutierrez: Non-face

Non-manifold geometries describe “fake-objects” – items that may look realistic, but can in fact not exist in the physical world. They develop their sensual plausibility in the digital world. One famous example is the Penrose-triangle: Its three beams appear to be positioned at right angles to each other, and yet they are connected to form a triangle. In 3D-animation, such objects regularly surface through so-called mesh-mistakes. For their first joint Fulldome-piece, sound artist Robert Lippok and digital artist Lucas Gutierrez have identified these frequently occurring mistakes in their own artistic practice and develop data structures to explore these fantastic objects. Their work produces different dimensionalities and creates new topological relations. This might not determine the inside or the outside of these impossible objects, but it will render the sonic and visual boundaries of a three-dimensional space tangible. To this end, the composition uses simulated reflections in physical and virtual spaces. Various methods of traditional instrument building are used to transcribe the virtual geometries into musical patterns which, in turn, weave sequences of notes and real-time emulations of different sound sources into multi-layered textures.

Fatima Al Qadiri & Transforma: Extraordinary Alien
Music: Fatima Al Qadiri
Video: Transforma (Luke Bennett, Baris Hasselbach, Simon Krahl)
Mixing: James Kelly
Spatialization: Koenraad Ecker

Robert Lippok & Lucas Gutierrez: Non-face
Video: Lucas Gutierrez
Music: Robert Lippok
Cello: Elif Dimli, Anil Eraslan
Curatorial consulting: Natalie Keppler