By: Maya Castro Gutiérrez
Mesmerizing its audience with both sound and visuals, the London-based creative team of Simon Hänggi and Christoph Thüer presented Luminessenz: Space is only Noise at the SPRING/BREAK Art Show during Armory Week in New York. Comprised of more than a handful of fairs, Armory Week offers a glimmer of hope and happiness during New York’s frigid and depressing weather.
Breaking away from the regular stagnate nature of art fairs, SPRING/BREAK was the right amount of impressive.
It was held on the second and third floor of an old post office building. Even though it smelled like a forgotten room in your grandmother’s house and looked like Eric Foreman’s living room on That ’70’s Show, complete with wine-colored carpet and wooden panels, the outdated appearance of the show added a distinct flair to the overall aesthetic. Curated by more than 90 people, this year’s theme of “transaction” was used, misused, and abused in creative and fun ways. There was a striking amount of sound pieces, including a space teepee with internal illumination by Grace Villamil that had just enough space for you to go and sit with a friend and contemplate life on artificial grass.
But the piece that I really enjoyed was Luminessenz: Space is only Noise by Visualpilots (yes, it is most definitely inspired by Nicolas Jaar). Curated by A. Moret from Installation magazine, Luminessenz is an installation and sound piece that studies the interaction between light and sound through space. It takes up about half of a garage-sized room and consists of 49 thin panels (7 x 7) in a grid formation. With the help of smart projectors, visuals were emitted through projector mapping to make consistent and precise projections.
The second you enter the room, the sound and visuals completely engulf you. You want to look away but you’re hypnotized by the sequences of colors and shapes that stand before you. You try to move, but you only see your body drift closer and closer, soon quietly making its way between the multiple panels that play a synchronized repetition of visuals you are most probably already familiar with. You comfortably lose yourself.
The artists, Simon Hänggi and Christoph Thüer, come from traditional backgrounds, technology and architecture respectively, and have evolved into art through way of process. Check out their website.