Seth Riskin: Light Dance

  • ©, , Light Dance

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    Light Dance

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Artist Statement:


    I first developed the Light Dance art form in 1987 as a graduate student at the M.I.T Center for Advanced Visual Studies. I was a painter and a former N.C.A.A. national champion gymnast, and I wanted to extend my experience of movement from the confines of my body into the public space. I built a projector that cast a sheet of light from my back to the boundaries of the room, a light-line circumscription that defined space through the swinging and pirouetting rhythms of my body on the parallel bars. A series of tools and performances followed: multiple planes of light directed by my arms and legs; a stick figure of light composed of line projections from each section of my limbs; circles of light that expand and contract with the changing position of my body in space; then costumes of mirror, diffraction grating and other optical materials that respond to light beams from distant sources. All the various “Light Dances” are silent, space-defining performances where I articulate light phenomena with my body. As a fellow at the Academy for Media Arts, Cologne, since February 1997, I’ve expanded the art with a series of two meter cubic spaces for Light Dance. Body-mounted projectors inside cast light through walls of optics into the outer, populated room; the body is transformed into holographic objects, moire’ patterns, or planar and cubic light forms that move in a simulated 3D space imaged on the boundaries of the outer space. The next phase of the project at the?Academy of Media Arts will focus on the development of light instruments and costumes as interface tools for optical motion tracking systems and performance with the resulting computer generated extensions of my body, video projected into the space.


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