Lynn T Lukkas
The trajectory of my art practice has taken me from my beginnings in photography to making digitally interactive art installations that responded to the movement of viewers in the gallery or to the biological functions of a users body as they engaged with the work by touching or breathing on a sensor. Since 2007 I have moved away from digital interactivity to large-scale collaborative multi-media works for opera and theater, short experimental films, film and video installations and curatorial projects for media arts. Nearly all of my work is collaborative. Over the past several years I have collaborated with opera and theater directors, dancers, composers, curators and computer programmers on a variety of projects and in a number of different types collaborations. In works for stage I work with the director to understand the overall project concept. I then develop the media concept, design and produce images for projection. In other collaborations I work one-on-one with composers and dancers to develop the concept and in-turn produce the media elements for the project. I also work with computer programmers to realize technical aspects of my work. My recent large-scale collaborations for opera necessitate a hierarchical type of collaboration where each collaborator has a specific role in the production. David Walsh, Director, University of Minnesota Opera Program, has invited me to collaborate on a number of high-profile multi-media opera productions. One of these was the world premiere of, Parables: An Interfaith Oratorio, (2012) by the Grammy Award winning duo of Robert Aldrich (composer) and Herschel Garfein (librettist) for which I produced 60 minutes of moving images. Parables, was subsequently broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television in 2012 -13 and will be restaged in 2016 at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. Walsh and I have collaborated on a number of projects, as a director he provides me with a great deal of autonomy and artistic control over the media concepts, strategies and choice of images. This summer we begin work on a new staged production of Bach’s, Saint Matthew Passion and I am also working with composer J.P. Rudoi and the Illumini Male Chorus on, Song of the Sea and Sky, a multi-media work for chorus and moving image to premiere at the University of Washington – Seattle in Spring 2016. In 2007 I began work on, Telling Time, twenty-seven short films on the topic of time for which I interviewed artists, scientists, and scholars from around the world and that use the temporal properties of filmmaking to explore the subject of time itself. The idea for this project began while I was on a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, whose thematic residency brought together faculty from across the University for an interdisciplinary exploration of time; these initial conversations became the foundation for Telling Time. I subsequently continued my fascination with time and film in two short experimental narrative films, Temporal Properties of the World: Passage and Temporal Properties of the World: Order. Each film focuses on a woman at a different stage of life. The films jump around in time reflecting the instability of human perceptions of time and the ability of film itself to re-order and to re-present temporal events. I make video installation works for gallery contexts including, the solo exhibition Telling Time: Tianjin, 2013, Tianjin Museum of Art, Tianjin China. This was a large-scale (2500 square foot) five-screen video and sound installation exploring my own memories of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River that I traveled through and filmed in 1999 and much of which is now lost, submerged by a public dam project. My video installation, Through the Night, 2012, was shot in time-lapse on an overnight train trip from Bodo to Trondheim, Norway. The film condenses nine hours into seventeen minutes as the train makes its way through a liminal landscape illuminated only by the midnight sun. In 2011, Howard Oransky, Director, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, asked me to co-curate an exhibition of films by Ana Mendieta. Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta, opens at the Nash Gallery in September 2015 and travels to Nova Southeastern University Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale Florida, and to University of California–Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archives. My essay, “Forever Young: Five Lessons from the Creative Life of Ana Mendieta,” is included in the exhibition catalog. Like many artists today, my curatorial practice is a vibrant and important part of my creative practice.