Light Prop for an Electric Stage, the most important early example of light and kinetic art, is the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946). Making use of archival materials (drawings, photographs, video), conservation files, technical drawings and files (CAD; 3d renderings), and video footage of the machines in operation, metaLAB is developing a model for the multimedia “thick description” of a cultural object. Taking shape as both an experimental digital scholarly publication and an immersive exhibition in the Harvard Art Museum’s Lightbox Gallery, the project aims to forge a model of how the humanities’ unique skills in the arts of observation, description, classification, and interpretation can be brought to bear on the design of digital cultural records and the multimedia “description” of a seminal object, particularly as it undergoes processes of preservation and replication.
Publication: László Moholy-Nagy’s Light Prop as Design Fiction: Perspectives on Conservation and Replication, Leonardo, Volume 50, MIT Press, June 2017
Exhibition: Harvard Art Museums Lightbox Gallery, 2016