Manipulate light, Manipulate reality.

Light Is a peculiar part of creating the right atmosphere. “It remains the ultimate ephemeral element that actively shapes and colors our experience of the world”(Gestalten, 2015)

The characteristic that makes light so important is that space can be luminous and bright one moment and dark and mysterious the second after. “Our time” by U.V.A. for example, creates a space for experience time with a choreography of lights into the complete darkness. The installation combines light, movement and sound the visitor can enter. “Pendulums swing – each to their own rhythm – as time flows through the grid. With light tracing the path and sound its echo, the passing of time becomes almost palpable.” (Filip Visnjic for Creative Application Network)

Another fit example is SKALAR by Light artist Christopher Bauder and musician Kangding Ray an art installation that I personally experienced in Kraftwerk Berlin last January.

“The full spectrum of emotional experiences is triggered by ever-changing tonalities in light, sound, and motion. Feelings of awe, surprise, exhilaration, anticipation, and of having one’s senses overwhelmed are created, explored, and repeated in cycles throughout the piece, providing a collective and yet highly individual emotional experience”

Both these projects shows the power of light waking emotional response by combining a vast array of perfectly synchronized moving lights and a complex multi-channel sound system. Two different atmospheres, two different concepts and technology, but both using light choreography as a tool to explore human perception of emotions related to light in the space.

“In recent years, it’s becoming more and more accessible and easy to manipulate light,” says Lemercier, adding that technologies like projection mapping, LEDs, high-resolution immersive displays have played a significant role in the field. But light it’s surely not a “new tool”

– For over half a century, the American artist James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Turrell, an avid pilot who has logged over twelve thousand hours flying, considers the sky as his studio, material and canvas. New Yorker critic Calvin Tompkins writes, “His work is not about light, or a record of light; it is light — the physical presence of light made manifest in sensory form.” –

Turrell creates a similar experience of “Ganzfeld”: a German word to describe the phenomenon of the total loss of depth perception as in the experience of a white-out.

James Turrell, Ganzfeld Aural, 2018; © Jewish Museum Berlin, gift of Dieter and Si Rosenkranz, photo: Florian Holzherr. Exhibition dates: 12 April 2018 – 30 September 2019

You expect to lose spacial limits, but you lose time perception as well.

When entering the space you want as first thing to reach the wall of light, like a moth I felt curious about it and tried to reach it. When approaching it, I saw a gap between the room and the actual light wall at the end of it. Reason why there is a “Bipper” when you are too close to the end.

I looked back and on the other side “the reality” looked so yellow! The entrance from the museum was there, with the guy of the museum looking at me. I questioned myself of how long does he has to stay outside there watching that people don’t fall into the artwork and then just continued looking around. After some time inside you start to see people around you not on focus, blurred, as if fog was implied. I asked my self if there was actual smoke around us, or if it was just a hallucination of the eyes, and yes, were just my eyes.

“Suddenly, we perceive the slightest stimuli and changes. This leads to dreamlike experiences reminiscent of thick fog, expanses of snow, or the dark of night.”

The corners of the room were all rounded, to lose spacial limit i guessed, but I didn’t expect to lose time perception as well. Colours slightly change, I got in when the room was really bright and I went out when it was bright again, with no idea of how long I did stay inside. When seeing it changing slowly from dark to light, I had the visual recall to the switching between night and day. I thought just 40 minutes was passed from when I got into the room, maybe one hour, as I started to feel like I wanted to sit (was not allowed) but could never guess that I spent almost 2 hours inside.

Highly recommended. Lose perception is a great deal, mostly to take a break from the chaotic city and just get lost in a space where boundaries and time do not matter.

I loved the experience, it was minimalistic as expected it to be. Leave your reality to contemplate one of a great artist.


Jewish Museum Berlin

Museum Garden
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

12 April 2018 to 30 September 2019

buy ticket online

Claudia Livia