Geometry of Light
MAS Context, the Farnsworth House, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation organized Geometry of Light, an art intervention by Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Gil, that was installed at the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, in October 11-13, 2019. The art installation coincided with the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Geometry of Light is a three-night light and sound art installation in the iconic Farnsworth House, designed by Mies van der Rohe, and on the surrounding land. Completed in 1951 and opened to the public in 2004, the Farnsworth House was the weekend home of Chicago research physician Dr. Edith Farnsworth. This outdoor intervention will uncover the forgotten history of the site and remnants of earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the world-renowned house to its river floodplain, site topography, and key trees that no longer exist.
In concert with the projected light, a custom-designed sound piece by Oriol Tarragó is integral to this experience. Developed in direct response to the site, this auditory component uses the pitch of the space to create a tonal reading. Together these elements provide a new interpretation of the Farnsworth House and its extraordinary location.
Geometry of Light premiered this past February at the German Pavilion in Barcelona designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. The installation was presented as part of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe’s ongoing program of artistic interventions also corresponding with the LLUM BCN Festival and the Santa Eulàlia Festival.
Geometry of Light is part of the Year of German-American Friendship 2018|19 initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, and is supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). This project is generously supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and Bosch Power Tools – North America. Additional support provided by Chuck Thurow, Virtue Cider, and many individual donors.
Project organized by
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Leading institutional support by
German Federal Foreign Office
Federation of German Industries (BDI)
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Bosch Power Tools – North America
The leading individual support is provided by Chuck Thurow.
The project is also supported by:
Project identity by Normal.
Geometry of Light is a partner program of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Luftwerk is the artistic vision of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero. Luftwerk’s art practice focuses on the exploration of what makes a space a place and how art plays a vital role within urban and natural environments. With each individual project, Luftwerk discovers and accentuates the unique connections between architecture, environment and the communities, which interact within these places, transforming their experiences of space and site through light and sound.
www.luftwerk.net | @_luftwerk
Iker Gil is an architect, urban designer, and director of MAS Studio. In addition, he is the editor in chief of MAS Context. He is the editor of the book Shanghai Transforming (ACTAR, 2008) and was the associate curator of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is the recipient of the 2010 Emerging Visions Award from the Chicago Architectural Club and has been recognized as one of “Fifty Under Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century” by a jury composed by Stanley Tigerman, Jeanne Gang, Qingyun Ma, and Marion Weiss.
www.mas-studio.com | @MASContext