Ganzfelds / Breathing Light

James Turrell. LED light into space.

On a trip to LA last month I visited one of James Turrell’s Ganzfelds on view at LACMA (ongoing). They’re usually pretty strict about enforcing no photos for this particular work but I managed to sneak this one.

The word ‘Ganzfeld’ loosely categorizes the body of  Turrell’s work that experiments with the perception of light. Having studied perceptual psychology at Pomona College, Turrell’s work shows repeated interest in deceiving the mind and how it perceives light and space. Ganzfelds are named after the German word that describes the phenomenon of the total loss of depth perception as in the experience of a whiteout. Ganzfelds are essentially his previous Space Division Constructions, now made into a plane accessible to viewers to step through and become seemingly transported to an “other” and ambiguous space altogether. Upon closer inspection, what appears to be a flat, rectangular end wall is actually a volume of light occupying a vast empty space.

These works have been generally popularized as “Hotline Bling” rooms, as Drake’s music video looks very similar to these works. Here are some more photos of other ganzfelds.

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