the narrative of animated Lumia

Much of this blog’s ongoing discussion of Lumia has been on what Lumia is and what it looks like with several Lumia images seeded within many of these blog posts. It is important to realize that Lumias while mostly seen as static images are really part and parcel of a choreography of animated motion. Although Lumia photographs can be awe inspiring as to what the imagery brings forth into the mind of the beholder, it is nothing as compared to watching a Lumia pattern gracefully metamorphoses its way across the projection screen in a darkened gallery or auditorium.

First presented by Thomas Wilfred in the 1920s to a curious public, Lumia audiences have ever since been held by its mysterious, cosmic illuminated presence. In 1922, in one of Wilfred’s earliest newspaper reviews for his public light art concert, a theater critic noted, “This is art for itself, an art of pure color; it holds its audience in the rarest moments of silence that I have known in a playhouse.” And nothing has changed in ninety years as museum and gallery audiences sit in awe watching similar Lumia displays with the same reverence as early 20th century audiences had witnessed their Lumia shows.

In a darkened theater setting with appropriate celestial audio accompaniment, watching Lumias glide through their animated dance becomes a transcendent experience as a visual homage to the ‘music of the spheres.’ Wilfred’s own description was indeed cosmic as he described its morphing movements as a three-dimensional drama unfolding in infinite space.

Lumia in motion becomes a moving visual meditation that feeds the viewer’s mind and soul. Its unfolding imagery sets one’s mind soaring as no two images are alike, and no two viewers are likely to agree on what they saw streaming past them. And that’s the beauty of a Lumia presence, for whatever it reveals to its viewers is special to that beholder. It is truly a visual playground for the mind.



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