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March 6—May 18, 2024, SWPK—The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, NY, USA

Anna Frants, Stories of Light, from the series Simple Pleasures, 2024. Photo: Anton Khlabov

Anna Frants, Stories of Light, from the series Simple Pleasures, 2024. Photo: Anton Khlabov

CYLAND is pleased to announce the exhibition Time is Light with Anna Frants, Alexandra Dementieva and Raphaele Shirley on view from March 6 to May 18, 2024 at SWPK—The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, NYC.

Anna Frants, Alexandra Dementieva, and Raphaele Shirley are three multimedia artists whose work revels in the marriage of art and technology. In this exhibition, light’s natural mysticism is at once scrutinized and celebrated through application in this contemporary technology.

Before scientists sought to systematize its behavior, and certainly before its existence was understood as both waves and particles, light was central to many mythological systems around the globe. In these installations, light is both a medium through which time can be reflected and the means through which emotional and political change is allowed to occur. Though contemporary society has all but disregarded a theology hinged upon deities of light reigning over the Earth, there remain lingering traces of this transcendence.

It is in the automated kineographs by Anna Frants that the dynamic between light and time is traced historically. These “stories of light” provide contemporary reanimations of one of humanity’s oldest aspirations: capturing movement, and thus time, in light. Through moving images, Frants evokes a tradition which has evolved over millennia from the age of cave paintings and shadow puppets to the modern era of film, camera, and digital animation.

The other two works of the exhibition reckon with light’s relationship to time in the present moment. Alexandra Dementieva’s “Breathless” does this by mapping online linguistic trends in real time while also emphasizing the agency of the human subject within it: the piece itself can be altered when a participant breathes into the attached sensor. Raphaele Shirley’s “3 Tone Ephemeral”, celebrates light’s ability to affect the present moment rather than simply reflecting it. The installation envelops its surroundings in a series of emotional environments through automating various color combinations. Also featured in the piece is a sound installation between Shirley and the minimalist composer Rhys Chatham.

At the center of these three installations is the kinetic relationship between light and time, their dialectics in perpetual flux, where time is at once modelled in light and affected by it. This relationship is demonstrated as it pertains to environments both global and hyperlocal, and temporalities both historical and hyper-present. Read more >

Opening of Time is Light, SWPK—The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery, New York, USA. Photo: Paige King 


The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Art Gallery

417 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10003

Tel: 212.598.1155


Anna Frants is an internationally acclaimed new media artist, curator, and art writer born in Leningrad, USSR. She is a co-founder of the CYLAND Media Art Lab and the CYLAND Foundation, and is a leading voice in cultural dialogue surrounding experimental art.

Alexandra Dementieva is a multidisciplinary artist born in Moscow whose practice incorporates sculpture, dance, music, cinema, and performance whose installations demonstrate an interest in both technology and human psychology.

Born in Wisconsin, US, and based in New York, Raphaele Shirley has been dedicated to creative community engagement for over thirty years. Her oeuvre is an amalgam of sculpture, light, public art, and performance which revels in the marriage of art and technology.



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