November 17, 2020 - Light Art Space - Judy Chicago Rainbow AR
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November 17, 2020

Light Art Space

[1] Judy Chicago, Judy Chicago Rainbow AR, 2020. Smoke Sculpture™, © Judy Chicago. [2] & [3] Judy Chicago, Purple Atmosphere, 1969. Fireworks performance, Performed at Santa Barbara Beach, Santa Barbara, CA. © Judy Chicago/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy of Through the Flower Archives. Courtesy of the artist; Salon 94, New York; and Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco.

Judy Chicago Rainbow AR
The artist's first virtual artwork

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LAS is delighted to announce the first virtual artwork by acclaimed American artist Judy Chicago, Judy Chicago Rainbow AR. Through this new LAS commission, Chicago continues her long-running "Atmospheres" series, inviting global audiences to experience a newly created Smoke Sculpture™ in Augmented Reality (AR).

Chicago is a pioneering artist, author, feminist, educator and intellectual whose career spans five decades. She began her "Atmospheres" series in the late 1960s, working with pyrotechnics to produce complex firework pieces. Presented as ephemeral, site-specific performances, these works use coloured smoke intended to transform and soften the landscape. As an artist whose practice is deeply rooted in the physical experience of these works, Judy Chicago Rainbow AR marks a new stage in Chicago’s long history with pyrotechnics, working with new AR technologies to push the boundaries of the medium. 

Produced in close collaboration with LAS and experience designers International Magic, Judy Chicago created a new form of her Smoke Sculptures ™, which is now brought into the digital realm. During this uncertain time when public gatherings are limited and our relationships with personal and public spaces are changing, Judy Chicago Rainbow AR is accessible to audiences wherever they are based, allowing them to have their own site-specific experience, activating and ‘beautifying’ their own surroundings. 

“This work is a new way to bring the experience of my Smoke Sculptures™ to audiences around the world who might not be familiar with my long-standing efforts to soften and feminise the often-harsh, patriarchal world around us. At this moment in time, it seems even more important to offer the opportunity to bathe our environments with light, art and beauty in order to inspire hope and through a visual metaphor, suggest the possibility of positive change.” Judy Chicago

Bringing individuals together through their experience of the work, Judy Chicago Rainbow AR unfolds as an interactive performance, releasing plumes of smoke and changing colour. Curling and billowing across the viewers’ screens, the work invites audiences to interact with the smoke, walking through or around it. Chicago conceived the scenography for the piece and chose the colours and sequencing to offer a unique experience of her smoke performances only possible in the virtual world. The experience is accompanied by a polyphonic soundtrack, realised in collaboration with sound designer Colin Bailey, which uses soundscapes made from recordings from Judy Chicago’s work with pyrotechnician Chris Souza, of Pyro Spectaculars.

Dr Bettina Kames, Director, LAS, said, “Judy Chicago Rainbow AR is part of a commitment by LAS to support artists to create art using new technologies. We work closely with artists and commission works that stimulate new visions of the present and future.” Amira Gad, LAS’ Head of Programmes added, “Bringing Chicago’s iconic 'Atmospheres' series into the digital realm not only offers new perspectives to transform our environment, it’s also symbolic of togetherness, solidarity and harmony.”

Credits
© 2020 Judy Chicago®
Smoke Sculptures™
Judy Chicago Rainbow AR 
Commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS)
Experience produced by International Magic

Artist: Judy Chicago
Head of Programmes: Amira Gad, LAS
Communications Assistant: Selin Şahin, LAS
Creative Director: Adam Rodgers, International Magic
Producer: Ben McKinnon, International Magic
Art Director: Agnete Morell, International Magic
Developer: Jonathan Landon, International Magic
Sound Designer: Colin Bailey, International Magic
Consultant: Noland Chaliha
Creative Consultant: Donald Woodman
Pyrotechnician Consultant: Chris Souza, Pyro Spectaculars
Chicago Woodman Studio LLC: Megan Schultz, Michael Apolo Gomez

About Light Art Space (LAS)
LAS is a Berlin-based non-profit art foundation that works at the intersection of art, new technology and science. Championing new exhibition formats and experimental projects, LAS is committed to commissioning and presenting engaging experiences that are relevant to local and international communities. Light is a leitmotif for the programme that fosters a future-led approach challenging our perception of the present and stimulating future imaginaries. 

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