Company News • 23.10.2009

James Turrell: The Wolfsburg Project

24 October 2009 – 5 April 2010

On 24 October, the monumental Wolfsburg Project lighting installation created by famous lighting artist James Turrell will be presented to the public at the Wolfsburg Art Museum.

The Wolfsburg Ganzfeld Piece – as this work of art has been named – is the largest installation ever implemented by the American artist in a museum. 12 meters high and encompassing an area of 700 square metres, the installation comprises two rooms that merge into each other, called Viewing Space and Sensing Space, both completely empty and flooded with coloured light that keeps changing slowly. Zumtobel has provided all the luminaires and control systems required for this project, and has also contributed the "Tall Glass" project, another collaboration between James Turrell and Zumtobel, to the high-calibre exhibition.

From 24 October, visitors entering the rooms will experience unique sensory perceptions in this homogeneous visual field. With light revealing its intrinsic character, referring to nothing but itself, an interplay between surfaces, colours and space is produced, creating an atmosphere that completely encloses the audience and their senses. Viewers plunge into a mysterious, yet scenic world made of pure light. The artist himself calls this experience "feeling with one’s eyes".

Luminous spaces of this kind are based on a degree of technological sophistication until recently unattainable. Without advanced LED technology and sophisticated control systems, installations of that kind cannot be implemented. 250 Zumtobel Hilio LED light lines and 24 Olympus LED spotlights fitted with more than 30,000 LEDs were used for the Ganzfeld Piece, allowing to create more than 65,000 different brightness levels and millions of different colours, assisted by DMX control technology. The solution applied here represents the latest state of the art.

In terms of perception psychology, what happens in "Tall Glass" is similar to what happens in Ganzfeld, yet what is decisive here is the colour impression perceived. The program runs for a total of 200 minutes. A frosted white glass panel is backlit by more than 15,000 LEDs. The individual light points are not visible, dissolving into hundreds of millions of colour impressions with flowing transitions, rendering a picture that never stands still. Five different LED colours are used: red, green, blue, yellow, white and bright white. The light, which seems to be tangible, completely dematerializes the panel. Each LED can be controlled separately, to more than 65,000 brightness levels each.

This allows to create colour impressions and sequences unprecedented in terms of colour intensity and saturation. Zumtobel has selected highly special LEDs for that purpose, with identical characteristics in terms of spectral quality and light quantity emitted by LEDs of the same colour. A 5-channel control system was developed for this project, as a standard video signal no longer lives up to the creative design options that can be implemented here.

The installation will be on display in Wolfsburg until 5 April 2010. The exhibition at the Art Museum will be accompanied by a large number of side events such as discussions with architects, among others.

For more information, please contact:

Logo: Zumtobel Lighting GmbH

Zumtobel Lighting GmbH

Schweizer Straße 30
6850 Dornbirn

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