The Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) showcased the fusion between art and technology Friday when it hosted a lecture by multimedia artist Grimanesa Amorós.
“I’ve worked with a lot of artists, and she is one with a lot of technological perspective,” LITE CEO Kam Ng, Ph.D., said of Amorós’s work. “When I look at her art pieces, this is technology more than art. But you, you make your call.”
The New York City-based artist uses computer-programmed LED lights in her mixed media, often site-specific, sculptures. “Uros House” — which was most recently on display at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum but was moved to the LITE center last week — is made of LED-lit “bubble” shapes composed of translucent material, and it’s constructed into a winding, bubble-covered cone that blinks ocean-inspired colors in varying patterns.
“When I was a child living on the coast of Peru,” said Amorós, who was born in Lima, “I remember always loving the beauty of the ocean. I was really fascinated. Everything from the tides to the colors, the bubbles and the foam. It was always very much an important detail for me.”
The sculptures were inspired by structures built by the Uros natives in Peru, who are a pre-Incan people who live on 42 self-constructed floating islands on Lake Titicaca. Because the lake is highest in the world, Amorós said, it reflects a unique light, and her pieces are made “to reflect the natural elegance of the sea foam.”
Amorós’ pieces have been commissioned worldwide, and she currently has pieces on exhibit in Tel Aviv, Beijing and Seoul, South Korea. “Uros House” has been on exhibition in Lafayette since August 2011 and will be shown at the LITE Center for another six months.
“Hopefully, I’ve been able to inspire some students who want to follow the path of the arts, as well,” said Amorós.
Lee Gray, Ph.D., curator of exhibitions at the University Art Museum, said the sculpture is an important piece not only for art students, but students in engineering and the sciences, as well.
The lecture was LITE’s first event for the INNOV8 festival, which kicked off its second run on April 19 and runs through Thursday, April 26, just as Festival International de Louisiane enters its second day. Similar to Austin’s SXSW music, film and technology conference, which spans almost two weeks, INNOV8 is planned in tandem with Festival International to encourage visitors to attend both events.
LITE’s involvement with INNOV8 is to relay the combination of “art and technology as an integral part of everyday learning,” said Ng.
INNOV8 is an eight-day, volunteer-run conference organized by the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce that aims to highlight both the entrepreneurial and creative spirit in Acadiana through think-tanks, workshops, screenings and arts and music events.