Created by Los Angeles-based digital artists Aaron Koblin and Tool director Ben Tricklebank, “Light Echoes” is on exhibition at the Barbican Curve Galler as a part of multimedia artist Doug Aitken's month-long event, Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening.
Aitken began Station to Station in 2013 with the intention to create a platform for cross-disciplinary collaborations. He travelled over 6 000 kilometres by train from the Atlantic to the Pacific over 24 days and invited artists and designers to participate along the way. Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening at the Barbican builds on his travelling art experiment with London as the only stop outside of the United States.
Commenting on the US leg of the project, Aitken says, “Station to Station is a platform for progressive culture and new artistic experimentation.”
This is a living exhibition with artists of all mediums, creating unique works and unpredictable encounters every day.
Koblin and Trickleback, just two of the artists in the Station to Station project, collaborated to design and create “Light Echoes” while aboard the train ride. The two digital artists created the light installation by mounting a laser onto a specially made crane that rolled along the train tracks projecting topographic maps, composite shots and Walt Whitman quotes onto the surrounding landscape while being simultaneously filmed using a high-definition camera at speeds ranging from 4 to 97 frames per second.
Using their combined skills, smart coding and engineering, the pair essentially turned a laser into a printer that can paint images onto the landscape.
The laser didn't scan the environment around it; instead it projected environments on top of them. "Light Echoes" is the culmination of Koblin and Tricklebank's collaboration during the Station to Station journey. The imagery they filmed is being projected onto the walls of the Curve gallery in an immersive light experience that fits into the gallery's dynamic architecture.
A single laser projects a wall of light from ceiling to floor, which tracks visitors' movements and travels through the space, encouraging visitors to walk towards it. When visitors reach the end of the gallery they encounter two large moving image works. One with some beautifully shot footage of the projections on the train tracks, and another with typographic projections.