Doctor Jocelyn Buckner
Humankind has spent its entire history defining and creating the things that make up our physical world. Everyday, humanity continues to discover and create, furthering society’s knowledge and understanding of existence. However, there are facets of nature that have never been entirely understood by mankind, because they have a unique affect on each individual. It is known how a tree manifests and grows but no one can explain the feeling of relief that comes in the shade of a long limbed oak on a cloudless day. Nature is unique in its simplicity and mystery. Artists often use aspects of nature to create a unique affect for their audience. In this paper I aim to narrow my gaze onto light, one fragment of the natural world that has been manipulated by artists across mediums to incredible effect. I have clarified the differences in art that uses light to imitate the natural and art that uses light to exemplify nature’s beauty. “Affect”, meaning: an expressed or observed emotional response, is difficult to conceptualize, especially when it comes to art because each individual’s reaction and feeling is different. However, I believe that the graceful appliance of light in any art form, whether it is the architectural installations of James Turrell or Michelangelo’s the David, consistently elicits an emotional response from the individual viewer. Historically, Artists have always been fascinated by light and the emotional quality it brings to a piece. Furthermore, in today’s modern age, there is an immense amount of technology that give artists a much broader spectrum of tools to utilize in the pursuit of eliciting emotional response from their work. I will highlight some revolutionary uses of light in artistic platforms such as architecture, sculpture, and live performance.
Dyck, Samuel, "Light Eaters: A Study on the Affect of Light Depicted Through Different Art Mediums" (2018). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 310.