Visual Studies: ‘Light Space Modulator’ with Pip.



Context:  The Light Prop for an Electric Stage was a mobile object which projected light, creating moving reflections and shadows. You can access short excerpts of the projection on You Tube




One of the earliest electrically powered kinetic sculptures, Light Prop for an Electric Stage holds a central place in the history of modern sculpture. Representing the culmination of Moholy-Nagy’s experimentation at the Bauhaus, it incorporates his interest in technology, new materials, and, above all, light. Moholy sought to revolutionize human perception and thereby enable society to better apprehend the modern technological world. He presented Light Prop at a 1930 exhibition of German design as a mechanism for generating “special lighting and motion effects” on a stage. The rotating construction produces a startling array of visual effects when its moving and reflective surfaces interact with the beam of light. The sculpture became the subject of numerous photographs as well as Moholy’s abstract film Light play: Black, White, Gray (1930). Over the years the artist and later the museums made alterations to the sculpture to keep it in working order. It is still operational today.


László Moholy-Nagy’s Light Prop for an Electric Stage, 1930, is one of the key works in the history of twentieth-century sculpture, standing at the intersection of the histories of kinetic art, of the machine aesthetic, and of material innovation. Building on the artist’s exploration of effects of transparency and movement in his painted and photographic oeuvre, the Light Prop has also had a rich and influential afterlife, too. Under the artist’s supervision, it has been presented as a stage lighting device for abstract theatre (hence its earliest and best title), as a free-standing (immobile) sculpture, and as the main ‘actor’ in an experimental film by the artist. The sculpture has been in the collection of the Busch-Reisinger Museum since 1956. Both before and after 1956, the work suffered damage, alteration, inappropriate restoration, and mechanical instability. The work today stands at some distance from its pristine state: materials are misleading and the movement is so much compromised that it can only be operated for a few minutes every week.



The AV studio is available on Monday and Wednesday morning – as it is a dark space with strong photographic lights you can set up something quite dramatic.


Martin is ready to see you for spot welding & fabrication.


And we have some great materials – lights, cards, papers and tinfoil.




  • Make lights, or lit objects, or sculptures that are about and use light.
  • Experiment: make things that light can play through!
  • Develop your light drawings to inform your making.
  • Make your drawings into lights?
  • Use your camera … document experiments with light and shade and translucency.
  • Transfer your documentation to acetate for making cyanotype prints (for next week).
  • Use the photocopier to manipulate your images.
  • Play with streams of light, be it natural or artificial.
  • Surprise, intrigue and fascinate us!



Light with Pip.



Light is integral to life on the planet. It is often depicted as being spiritually pure. Light is nimble, quick, easily digested. We shed light on important information, light reveals things.

Essentially: Light is a major factor in all of our lives

  • We play with light in science. It is a vital tool to the human race.
  • Architecture also regularly uses it in their designs.
  • Art and architecture is clearly linked in this regard.
  • Would gold be so loved if it didn’t reflect light so well?
  • The age of enLIGHTtenment isn’t called the age of enDARKenment.
  • The first great discovery of mankind was fire – a source of light, but a dangerous source all the same.
  • Gas and oil lamps were first introduced around 1750 and banished darkness.
  • It helped humanity to break away from natural cycles.

Light can be used to familiarise ourselves with things, but it can also be used to warp and de-familiarise objects.

On Moodle there are some images/info on a kinetic  sculpture, be sure to check them out (although the video is so hypnotic it might put you to sleep!)

Artist Research: Cedric Verdure, Carsten Nicolai, and Messa de Voce.

Cedric Verdure:

‘Les Gardien Du Tresor’
Light up Nuit Blanche

Cedric Verdure’s work looks elegant, smooth to touch and captures a ray of beauty. Although the texture may appear soft and smooth, the sculptural pieces are made of wire, with light fixtures placed underneath them.

Carsten Nicolai:


Carsten Nicolai’s work is installation based and the idea is to offer semiotics and perception to its viewers. As the lighting changes, the viewer’s perception is altered, so as to create an optical illusion.

Messa di Voce:


The project touches on themes of abstract communication, synaesthetic relationships, cartoon language, and writing and scoring systems, within the context of a sophisticated, playful, and virtuosic audiovisual narrative.

These artists informed my ideas but not the visual concept of my idea. I chose these because they’re playing with different forms of lighting, especially Cedric Verdure, as his figures dancing in light captures the essence of what I want the light function in my product to look like. My product will be more personal, as it’s a visual, tactile, handheld object that will enhance a soothing effect. The light functions will be softer, with the colours being more pastel – with a direct interaction with the user.

An Introduction to Light by Jon and Pip.


Easter Trip


  • Trip to France – £80 return flight – £180 for the week – Food bought communaly


  • Provided there are enough takers the first group will be going out from 11th– 18th of April.


  • The second group will be going out from 18th– 25th of April.


  • If there aren’t enough people for two trips then the second slot will be the one used.


Trip to London


  • Week 4


  • Monday the 6th– same time as your appointment.


  • £5 deposit payable to Annette (I think that was the name mentioned)



New Brief – LIGHT


There are all sorts of ways to approach the idea of light.


The first task today is to go around campus with sketch books and fill them with sketches of light.


The reason for this is to get you thinking about light as an artisitc topic. It’s something we’d take for granted usually but now you have to pay attention to the details.


Light and Spectrums


Lights are always somewhere on a specific spectrum (refer to slide).


We now know them to be partical waves but in history there have been lots of different              ideas. The ancient Greeks thought light came from within our eyes.


Light in Films


The film Citizen Kane was released in 1941 and was one of the first films to really experiment         with light.


Much of what it experimented with is still used in cinema today.


Thomas Edison


He didn’t invent the light bulb, but he did patent the commercial light bulb.


All artificial lights we take for granted (including those used in film) were made possible               because of this.


Remember that light can shed light on things, but it can also cast shadows.


Light and shadows can change how something looks.


Get in the habit of seeing light as a material with which to make art.


The slides detail a number of artists who deal with light in their work, but we will go into        more detail in the future.


More detail of this brief (and the marking criteria) can be found on Moodle – be sure to read up on it in your own time.


Timeline – A new category for your blog about workshops, don’t forget!


The week plans for future weeks are detailed in a document on Moodle, keep this handy as it’ll give you direction.

“Light” Brief for Field.

MAKER ADZ4888 Field

Term 2 Spring 2017






This term you will work on developing a contextualised, conceptually underpinned and skilfully produced 3D outcome in and around the theme of light. You will partake in a number of collaborative workshops and seminar sessions to help you develop the theme. Some of these will be collaborative and shared with students from Fine Art and Ceramics. There will also be the opportunity to further develop your material and skills based knowledge through TD led workshop sessions.





  1. Light

Through a sustained and active interrogation of the theme of light you are expected to develop an outcome that shows your own emerging direction and aspirations as a Maker. You may choose to explore light as a material, as a useful tool, through design, as a concept or metaphor, scientifically, historically, culturally or in numerous other ways. Your final outcome should have a clearly identifiable context that you are able to describe through reference to the world of art and design e.g. it may be contextualised as applied art, fine art, design / critical design, contemporary craft etc. among many other possible things.


You will be expected to evidence a thorough body of research into artists and designers as well as through idea exploration and material / process experimentation in both your sketchbook and blog which will underpin your outcome.


ADZ4888 Maker Term 2 2017

Your final piece will be exhibited in the summer term and you will receive formative feedback at the end of the spring term.


  1. Timeline of learning and group activities

As well as your own individual outcome for the theme of light, you will engage in a number of workshop / lab sessions over the course of the term. Some of these will be with TD’s in particular workshop areas and some will be led by academics from across the school. You are expected to document, comment on and keep a timeline of all of these activities on your blog. This will be tagged as field 4 timeline and should eventually amount to between 7 and 10 separate posts reflecting on the taught sessions you will have partaken in over the course of the term.


Formative assessment: 27th March 2017

Summative assessment (Subject and Field): Week of 5th June 2017  

Assessment Criteria


As always you will be assessed with equal weighting on your:


>>SKILLS (making skills, researching skills, thinking skills, visual communication skills etc) >>CONTEXT (professional context – who is your work for?, creative context – what influences you?)

>>IDEAS (the ideas that are underlying in your made work)


The learning outcomes below further show how these areas are considered.


At the conclusion of this module students will:


Be able to negotiate and work together towards a proposal and, or a final outcome

Have a sense of their own strengths and weaknesses within collaborative, creative work



Understand the complexity of a thematic project, and how to begin contextual a range of ideas

Locate more clearly the scope and potential of subject disciplines within global contexts



Be able to appreciate the opportunities presented by interdisciplinarity and cross discplinarity

Be able to constructively generate and integorate practical and proposals and outcomes

ADZ4888 Maker Term 2 2017

Matthias Grünewald

The Mocking of Christ is an early oil on wood painting by Matthias Grünewald. It is located today in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

Matthias Grünewald was a German Renaissance painter of religious works who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century.

The Crucifixion

The Stuppach Madonna is a 1514–1519 painting of the Madonna and Child by the German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald. It is located today in the Parish Church of the Coronation of the Virgin in Stuppach.

Material Exploration – Material/Workshop Outcomes.


After a considerable amount of conceptual drawing and research into artists, I decided it was time to start visually experimenting and exploring with different materials. I wasn’t impressed with working with wire last year, but I decided to embrace it and try the material process again. I thought a wireframe work would be beneficial to my idea of the ‘skeletal’ hand I have been conceptually working on in my sketchbook, as it is bendy and flexible. I could also choose to leave it hollow or fill it out with other material, like an armature.

Using a PVA glue mixture and tissue paper, I began to fill out the wireframe. The form started to appear more fleshy, which I was quite pleased with, as I was working with the idea of the human body in mind.

Whilst I was playing around with the wire form, I thought it would look more gruesome / tortured if I crucified the hand with thicker wire, that looked more like barbed wire. I have been looking at the horrific world events of World War 1 and the Holocaust of World War 2 as inspiration for my project brief on ‘Cited‘. I hammered nails into  the block of wood, that the wireframe was mounted, on to add extra effect to the whole ideology of inhumanity.

I mixed red and green paint to form shades of darker reds, purples and off-colour reds. I began layering the PVA mixture with with one colour at a time, to begin with. I then began to dab purples into the already bright red, mixing in more purples, darker reds and even tinges of green to create the visual effect of an entrapped hand, that had been flayed.

My second material experimentation, I headed down to the plaster room with two Marigold gloves. The human hand was still the form I was experimenting with.

After mixing 250g of Plaster, with the help from Alexis, I began to pour the plaster mix into one of the Marigold gloves. I repeated the same process to complete the pair. I gently pressed into the fingertips of one glove, adding in more detail. On the other hand, there was a dip in the fingertip.

Once everything was washed and tidied up, I withdrew my plaster casts to head upstairs to my studio space. I let them set on my desk and after around 20 or so minutes, the plaster had set and the temperature was starting to rise. I had to cut the gloves off the plaster, to avoid anything catching fire – that was something I didn’t want to risk as it started to get hotter.

I was very pleased with these outcomes, as they looked effective and somewhat ‘severed’ from the rest of the body. I intend to work on these more this term, by gently sanding down the pattern on the inside of the fingertips from the Marigold gloves. And I will just generally be tidying them up before mounting them onto a block of wood.