Tilen Sepič: Komposing with Frequencies

Tilen Sepič is an explorative designer and artist. In his transdisciplinary practice, he refers to natural and social sciences, material and technological developments, ethical and esthetical aspects. He analyses material properties and interrelations, key functions and system structures, physical and sensual phenomena. His imagery, his objects, and installations are illustrations, sensory fields or perceptual spaces that stage complex contexts. An example, the “Eclipse” _ a luminaire object that shows the simultaneous presence and absence of light was awarded the London “darc award” in 2014. “In my artistic examination of photography and videography, I first became aware of the importance of natural light and later also of electric light. I like the medium because it is not so “formal” in the sense of the material. It’s much more than just material.” Currently, he is concerned with visual and non-visual light effects, i.e. he concentrates on how light influences seeing, thinking and well-being and how it modifies mood, experience, and behavior.

Since 2006 he has been working as a freelanced designer, in 2013 he was invited to the SVETLOBNA GVERILA festival in Ljubljana for the first time with an art intervention, since then he has been regularly represented at design, light and science festivals in Europe. “What I like about the exhibitions in public space is that they are accessible to everyone. Everyone can experience the work and collectively we own the multitude of experiences with the work _ so it should be with all artistic formats and also with all knowledge”. In Hildesheim, he presented a site-specific variation of the installation “Light Oscillator” which was shown before at the festivals of light SVETLOBNA GVERILA Ljubljana [2016], LUMINA Cascais [2017] and LICHTUNGEN Hildesheim [2018], among others.

The kinetic installation is inspired by the observation of vibrating systems with periodic behavior, such as known in physics and chemistry, biology, and sociology. These are mechanical systems that oscillate continuously between different states. Technical oscillators can be found in mechanical and electrical engineering. The installation is structured like a design drawing of an oscillator. It consists of several light globes, each with its own light pulse. Their lights dim on and off and follow regularly repeating sequences. Suspended from high trees, the three light globes float freely in space, set in motion each by a small motor. Thus, the three conical pendulums are created in spatial proximity, but they do not touch each other’s radius but depending on the point of view, their paths seem to cross. The result is a visual tension that turns the technical set-up into an aesthetic phenomenon.

The acoustic space is played on with a superimposed frequency spectrum which creates a kind of abstract ambient space. In its interplay, it recalls the “Dream House” (1993) by Marian Zazeela and La Monte Young, a light and sound environment that fills the audio-visual space with compositions of light and sound frequencies. Since the beginning of the 19060s, light, color, and space have been at the center of Marian Zazeela’s artistic practice. She explains that “sound and light can be experienced together as a new form or new medium: the sound and light environment. Experiencing the two media together requires a new or at least a different kind of attention”. Atlas Obscura: Dream House. No date given. Like her partner, the composer and musician Monte Young, she experiments with temporal duration and periodic repetition. Their joint, multi-hour concerts are legendary: “A one-hour composition is nothing compared to a six-year composition. [Randy Kennedy: Young and Zazeela’s “Dream House” Is Getting a New Lease at Dia. Checked on 2.4.2018.]. Like the “Dreamhouse”, the “Light Oscillator” creates a hypnotic situation that arises through synchronized audio-visual interaction over an open amount of time. The viewers’ eyes follow the endlessly circling lights, the ears tune in to the frequency structure and the surrounding space becomes a kind of shell for the oscillation system.

Therefore, the choice of location is of great importance. It needs clear height and width to create sufficient space for the pendulum movements and the visual relations. “As an artist, I try to work with the existing space and use its potential to create another story in the timeline of that space. I’m trying to integrate seamlessness.”

All statements: Tilen Sepič. Text: Bettina Pelz. Köln, March 15, 2018.

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