“A child of the space age, I dreamed of building my own spaceship, and flying off alone. When I had grown art became a spaceship for my imagination and now I invite you to join me on my journey. The way galaxies rotate implies our understanding of gravity might be wrong. Even the spin of the tiny humble electron remains enigmatic. In Spinning Cosmos you will enter a space time machine to meditate upon these ideas”
Paul Friedlander has spent more than two decades investigating all kinds of technologies and procedures with the goal of making light a malleable and flexible material that can take on any shape or volume.
Friedlander’s “kinetic light sculptures” owe much to the work of other great names that preceded him in the field of light or kinetic art, from László Moholy-Nagy to Flavin or Turrell, using computer lighting control systems to enhance the impression of incorporeity and dynamism that his sculptures give.
Although works like The Wave Equation or The Energy Core are not strictly holograms, what the observer discovers when standing before them are large incorporeal shapes in motion, suspended in mid-air, and when they spin around they give light a three-dimensionality we are unaccustomed to seeing in the proximate physical space.
The names of Friedlander’s kinetic light sculptures often contain references to different aspects of modern science, from quantum physics to string theory. However, their aesthetic construction and the way observers take in his work are inevitably reminiscent of the spiritual and the magical. After all, the physical elements that comprise Friedlander’s sculptures remain veiled by the mystery of a basic yet impressive optical effect.
Like many other artists who have pursued a career at the intersection of art, science and technology, Friedlander situates his work in a hybrid space
On the one hand, his works rely on the extensive tradition of kinetic art in the 20th century, which he does not hesitate to claim. Yet on the other hand, this British artist cannot separate his experience from the field of large-scale stage lighting where his career began and which, in recent decades, has been a decisive factor in the progress of illumination technology.
The visual legacy of the former and the procedures of the latter have allowed Friedlander to develop an instantly recognisable body of work.
The work Friedlander is also an example of how scientific research can expand the expressive vocabulary of present-day artists, allowing them to mould physical reality and create images that we once would have thought possible only in the realm of imagination and dreams.
The works of Paul Friedlander have been shown at ArtFutura in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid and Montevideo. As well as in the exhibition “SoulsandMachines” (Museum of Modern Art Reina Sofía Madrid 2008) and at “Digital Creatures” (Roma 2017).
- + information: www.paulfriedlander.com