Light & Matter is a project that begins with an excavation of the past, recontextualizing a 1958 photograph by Berenice Abbott made at MIT that has taught generations of Americans in textbooks that light is matter with distinctly physical properties. It also points to the future with this project Dark Matter by Christopher Manzione, an augmented reality app that interacts with the pages of the exhibition catalogue, pointing to the latest virtual frontiers of light and matter. Use this app to flip through the exhibition catalogue and scan around, inside you will find virtual windows, digital sculptures, and dynamic interactive interpretations of the works surveyed.
Over a century ago, in 1905, Albert Einstein posited his theory of special relativity that first described binding universal properties that united light and matter. As we dive further into the 21st century, it is only now that technological advances have created perceptual slippages between the two, creating new digital interfaces that conflate perceived light with seemingly haptic matter. While Light & Matter was set out to survey regional contemporaries exploring the photographic object in real space, it behooved us to also point to the advances where lens-based media and the screen are now creating new kinds of objects.
Dark Matter by Christopher Manzione accompanies the book Light & Matter: The Photographic Object by Kelsey Halliday Johnson and published by the James A. Michener Art Museum. The exhibition catalogue and the accompanying augmented reality project are generously sponsored by Aaron Rudolph. For more information about how to obtain a copy of the book or about the exhibition, please visit our exhibition page at MichenerArtMuseum.org.