Public Art and Communion: Light, Festival, and Ritual
We analyze how works of art in public spaces stage transcendental experiences involving light in its’ “purest” state, while ignoring military and commercial uses for projection technology. After a brief historical overview of the technical development and use of searchlights in propaganda, art, and advertising, we explore the symbolism of these tools in a context that favors promotional events over intimate encounters. While some artworks draw on ritual conventions to inspire audiences, others entertain them with laser light shows updating ancestral magic. Overall, searchlight-based public art aims to unite the public, whereas personal electronic devices use light to separate individuals from their neighbors. However, the use of light projectors in art remains paradoxical; the medium ultimately sheds a “fragmented” light on the present day, while inviting the public to come together to face the unpredictable future.
Ozga, Kasia. “Public Art and Communion: Light, Festival, and Ritual.” Lumiere(s), HLENO Review (Histoire et littérature de l’Europe du Nord-Ouest) 53 (2016). IRHiS–Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion. https://books.openedition.org/irhis/702
IRHiS–Institut de Recherches Historiques du Septentrion
Public art, Searchlights, Spotlights, Spectacle