Laser Artist

Lighted Art Festival - Lunchboxing Page - Napa River Inn
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Lunchboxing With Lasers

Mike Gould laser artist presents Lunchboxing With Lasers at the Napa Lighted Art Festival
Napa River Inn Mill tower with laser lumia

Lunchboxing With Lasers is a kinetic, interactive laser art piece that was installed at Napa, California's Lighted Art Festival | Art After Dark, January 11th-19th 2020 at the Napa River Inn. This is a realization of architectural lighting using laser projections instead of conventional lighting - this is an example of Lumia, a diffuse form of laser light which exhibits distinctive light-dark banding called interference patterns.

We are projecting on a hundred-year old mill tower, an example of how we can adapt our imagery to any large outdoor (or indoor) surface. You can see two tables holding six controlling lunchboxen at the bottom of the photo, awaiting their interactions with visitors to come. The projectors are barely visible behind the furled umbrella.

Visitors lunchboxing with lasers Interactivity
To deeper engage the viewer, there are controls available that allow passers-by to vary the speed and brightness of the laser display. These are built into vintage lunchboxes, using crystal jewels as knobs. The large knob on the left controls the brightness of one of the colors, and the other two knobs control aspects of the emitted patterns. Visitors are invited to sit at tables and manipulate the display. There are six lunchboxen, two each controlling the red, green, and blue lasers.

Mike and his lasers Artist Statement (for this piece:)
Nothing is more unique and innovative than laser art. Recent advances in technology now make lasers affordable to artists, enabling me to build the lumia projectors (“Lumiators”) that produce the imagery. As the patterns are totally abstract, the viewer is free to imagine their own interpretations of the piece, sort of like seeing faces in clouds. A complete melding of art and technology, the piece inspires the visitor to think about how a scientific optical device could be transmogrified into a swirling mass of kinetic interactive Neo-op art.

This ties into the Napa Festival's theme of "Renew": the patterns constantly fade out, only to be recreated in other places and colors, a constant renewal of form and color.

The controllers are also renewed: they are vintage lunchboxen obtained from eBay, rust, dings, and loving use by some child in years past. Here they are re-purposed to allow a new child to interact with.