LUMINOUS FLUX 2.0: New + Historic Works from the Digital Art Frontier is the second iteration, and a refresh, of the original exhibition at Art House, an exhibition space in Santa Fe, New Mexico, dedicated to sharing works from the Thoma Foundation collections. The exhibition features technological artworks from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation collection spanning over fifty years of the digital art genre, including computer, light-based and electronic artworks from pioneering experimenters and contemporary innovators, such as a film quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner, an internet-based painting automaton by Siebren Versteeg, and Leo Villareal’s animated LED sequence. Luminous Flux 2.0 is curated by Jason Foumberg, Thoma Foundation curator.
With the digital boom, artists immediately grasped the potential of electronic media, often before it became commercially available. They applied cutting-edge computer engineering and software coding skills—such as algorithms, circuits, digital video, Internet search engines and interactive biometrics—in order to create visual expressions.
The earliest works in the exhibition, drawings from the 1960s by Desmond Paul Henry, made use of a pre-digital analog computer. The artistic impulse to collaborate with machines continued through the 1970s with Jean-Pierre Hébert’s precisely coded algorithmic drawings, and into the present as digital media becomes more ubiquitous and complex. A special focus of this exhibition is how artists create images and visual experiences in the digital age. As many of these artworks heighten or alter perception using new technologies such as LEDs, custom-built circuits, and the virtual world within the computer screen, it can be said that artists invent new ways of seeing.
The title and concept of Luminous Flux comes from physics; it is the measure of light energy, or brilliance, perceived by the human eye from a light source. The exhibition adapts this term in order to highlight the interactive experience of engaging optically stimulating artworks. In other words, the artwork is complete when a viewer experiences it.
Artists included in the exhibition are Jim Campbell, Craig Dorety, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Desmond Paul Henry, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Manfred Mohr, Alan Rath, Peter Sarkisian, Björn Schülke, John F. Simon Jr., Anne Morgan Spalter, Siebren Versteeg, and Leo Villareal.