Laser Sensitive comprises a website that functions as both a dynamic repository and a platform for online and offline experiments. This evolving project explores the visual culture of laser light and the mediating role of pervasive cameras and screens in our society. It’s an ongoing research that is articulated along two axes: light that harms and light that heals.
Laser light was invented in 1960 and celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2020. Many of my artworks rely on the unique properties and live perceptions of laser lights, as in the case of various holograms and the series of artworks ‘Journeys of Light’, where the twinkling of stars is mimicked by lasers. These artworks have been most often seen in a mediated form by means of photographic and filmic documentation, using online platforms and digital screens.
How do these mediated forms differ from these unique visual phenomena ?
What is lost and what is gained in this process of translation for our digital screens ?
These questions are at the core of this project.
Over the years, laser pointers have been the source of several accidents in public space. Laser pointers were also used by people during the protests that took place in Egypt, and more recently, Hong Kong, Santiago (Chile) and in Portland (USA). Drones were damaged and policemen were injured by multiple handheld lasers that were pointed at them. Protesters have been pointing lasers at cameras to protect their identities, as laser light generates a blinding halo on the camera’s sensor.
In many countries, owning and using lasers have become more and more regulated and restrictive. With this research, I wanted to explicitly enquire into the stigma that surrounds certain visual and visible technologies, such as lasers, drones and surveillance cameras.
This project is part of Beyond 2020: A (Post-) Pandemic Festival
and is recipient of a grant by San Francisco
The work Polarizing Times was supported by Art Foundation Pax