August Artist in Residence: Luftwerk

Right: Detail of White Wanderer, NRDC Booth at EXPO Chicago 2017

Right: Detail of White Wanderer, NRDC Booth at EXPO Chicago 2017

LATITUDE is excited to welcome Luftwerk as its August Artist In Residence!

Luftwerk explores light, color, and perception in immersive, experience-based installations. Focused on the context of a site for each project, Luftwerk applies their own interpretive layer, integrating the physical structure, historical context, and embedded information into each piece. Since founding in 2007, Luftwerk has amassed a significant body of work ranging from site-specific installations to experimental projects that interpret data. In each project they are interested in the abilities of how light and color can be utilized to shift perception and enhance experience. 

Light is core to Luftwerk’s practice. Their interest lies in the power of light as a crucial element to seeing and how it can highlight space and alter perception as it interacts with its surrounding environment. Using various modalities—projecting videos, casting shadows, creating custom sculpture—they integrate light into every project to explore its ephemeral and shifting nature. Whether using artificial or natural light, light is a tool for Luftwerk to highlight, abstract, or enhance experience with their own interpretive layer.

Color is key to the work of Luftwerk and often the basis for exploration. Historical explorations including Johannes Itten’s color studies and Josef Albers explorations in the interaction of colors influence their work. Combining light with color adds a dynamic layer to their work creating a shift in the perception and registration of color. Primarily, Luftwerk creates new visual experiences through different light situations to shift and alter the perception of color. 

Q & A

Luftwerk will be LATITUDE’s first collaborative pair of residents! Can you name any creative risks you have taken as a duo? 

Creative risks … it's more like creative experiments and trusting process to happen, not knowing where a spark of an idea takes you … creating space for surprises.

As artists who experiment with site and public landmarks, how important is a city to your practice?

Our studio and practice is Chicago based, but our architectural interventions with light and space have occurred in a wide range of urban and non-urban locations. It is the site, the building, the story of the public landmark, the natural or man-made surroundings that inform our artistic inspiration.

What will you be working on during your residency at LATITUDE?

We will work on two or three print editions. One is based on an upcoming piece we develop in collaboration with NRDC  (Natural Resources Defense Council) for Aloft Hotels called “Topography of Air”— and we will also experiment with color gradients for two works in progress.

How might  past projects inform this new body of work?

We have been exploring color theories for several years, so these new works tie directly into our body of work.

Your work often responds to the power and potential of light. What led you to explore this concept through installation art?

We started making installations with slide and super-8 projectors which over time evolved into video installation and in recent years into light installation—removing the representative quality of projected images and focusing on the quality of projected light in combination with color and space.

When you are not working in the studio, what can you be found doing?

Urban exploration coupled with nature hikes, observing the sky.

Are there any books, movies, magazines or podcasts that you would recommend our readers check out?

J. W. von Goethe’s Theory of Colours

AIR 2018Colleen Keihm