Monday, November 8, 2010

Visual music and digital dreams

Lumia is an art form invented by Thomas Wilfred in 1919, consisting of light refracted through glass of different colors and forms, creating ethereal abstract forms. Wilfred created a device he dubbed the Clavilux, from the Latin for "keyed light". This device was to light as a musical instrument is to sound; continuing the musical analogy, it had a turntable that rotated glass disks like records.

A modern analog to Lumia might be the abstract compositions of the screensaver Electric Sheep, created by feedback between millions of computers "dreaming" in sleep mode.
Electric Sheep screenshot from Wikimedia Commons.
Videos of both can be seen below the fold.

Modern Lumia composition (one of an exhibition called Lumia Domestica) with cake stand:

Electric Sheep:

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