Mechthild Schmidt Feist
Light drawings for a Renaissance Person
I got to know Herbert W. Franke in the computer graphics community of the 1980s – but admired him as a Renaissance person. His artistic work was inspired by his rich knowledge in physics, mathematics, electronics, speleology and literature.
My homage are light drawings with my camera as a pen. These remind me of Herbert’s earliest work in the 1950s, generative photographs. Herbert started with light drawings and a camera, but then very quickly switched to computer-generated wireframes. But both methods are drawings with light.
For my tribute, I use my light drawings as a basis for the final work. The title “Shadow generator” suggests automation and machines. Concurrently, a human shadow enters the scene of sun and moonlight. Inspired by an almost surreal astronomical event that turned day into night and projected double shadows, while birds fell quiet – this light drawing oscillates between poetics and warnings of the Anthropocene.
“I work with poetic and political images in digital and public art environments. Sometimes they move, sometimes they are mapped onto Google Earth or onto a building.
My media art practice of many years is Engaged Media, combining art and advocacy on environmental and related social issues. My work advocates individual and grass-root action as a means to an empowered, positive approach to systemic change and a renewed relation to nature. By creating new visual relationships between individual and shared fates I hope to generate empathy, hope and empowerment.
I start with myself. Each of us can make a difference. I want art and culture and us humans to stay here for a bit longer.”