L-S_A Topic Areas

Below is an expanded list of Light-Space_Art topic areas with some questions to consider for each item.  These topics will serve as the basis for our discussion of Light-Space_Art throughout the semester.  Students should post all general questions / comments about topic areas as replies to this post.


  • What is the form the artist uses to present the concept? 2 or 3 dimensional?
  • What is the size and configuration of the physical elements of the artwork?
  • What materials and construction methods are used?
  • How does the artwork relate to the context / site?
  • Are all areas of the installation accessible or is viewer access to some areas limited?


  • In what way does light change the spatial character of the environment?
  • Does the work present significantly different information if the viewer circulates around the space or does viewer movement minimally change it?
  • Does the light move or is it fixed and stable?
  • Does the artwork incorporate changes to light levels, light color, etc…?
  • Do some locations within the space present a “better” view of the piece than others?

Lighting Mechanics

  • How are the mechanics of the lighting elements and system addressed?
  • How was it constructed and how does it work?
  • What is the importance of the specific lighting technology used in the intended meaning of the work?
  • Hardware vs: Light  – Is the primary interest the lighting source, illuminated objects, or the light itself?
  • Are the elements used highly specialized or are they commonly used in “everyday” applications?
  • How is light and shadow distributed in the artwork?

Optical response

  • How important is peripheral vision in the optical experience of the artwork?
  • Does the viewing of the work change the way we process visual information – effect our perception or awareness?  How does this happen?
  • Is extreme adaptation to contrasting light levels or varied color a component of the work?
  • How does afterimage impact the visual experience?
  • What goes on in the eye & brain?

Emotional response

  • What is the quality of the experience with the artwork emotionally?
  • What words can we find to define the experience?
  • Does the work reinforce common lighting conditions or evoke dreamlike, unusual phenomenon?
  • Does the work reinforce religious references of light and dark?
  • Does the artwork create a comfortable or uncomfortable environment?


  • What is the conceptual idea the artist is working with?
  • What theories and philosophical ideas does the artist reference when discussing their intent?
  • What notions or thoughts are they addressing or challenging?
  • What worldview / ideology is represented in the work?
  • How legible is the concept in the result?

Records + Representations

  • How does the artist communicate their ideas prior to realizing experiential work?
  • Do they use any representation tools as part of the process for investigate their ideas?
  • What records are there of the completed work and how effective are they at representing the first hand experience?