The work Light Space Replicator reconstructs the iconic kinetic sculpture best known as the Light Space Modulator (1922-1930), originally made by Hungarian modernist artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy under the title, Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne, or Light Prop for an Electric Stage.
Almost a century on from the conception of the original Modulator, the Replicator considers the continuing significance of the utopian thinking, and the once-new vision that underpinned Moholy-Nagy’s original apparatus. The work re-purposes mass-produced ‘junk shop’ products, including a back scratcher, fidget spinners, kitchen utensils, pet toys, and even a unicorn headband. The material-discursive capacities of these objects are brought into a dance of agency with the modernist celebration of industrial progress. As an assemblage of mass-produced, globally distributed readymades, this reworking of the apparatus reflects on the nature of contemporary life in the wake of the global industrialisation that the original object is often taken to represent. The work employs modified party lights to revisit Moholy-Nagy’s celebration of new technologies such as ‘the reflectors and neon tubes of advertising signs, the blinking letters of store fronts, the rotating coloured electric bulbs, the broad strip of the electric news bulletin’. The traffic between high and low technological cultures is accentuated in my work through the selection of contemporary low budget and novelty consumer items.