After his appearances at TodaysArt in 2007 and 2011, Robert Henke returns to The Hague for the Dutch premiere of the audiovisual laser performance ‘Lumière’.
Powerful lasers draw rapid successions of morphing shapes and connected points in space whilst musical events provide a syncopated rhythmical counterpoint. ‘Lumière’ is an immersive multi sensory experience, exploring the limits and possibilities of a commonly underrated medium. Precise geometric figures are contrasted with floating organic structures, the archaic sign language of an alien culture communicating via traces of extremely bright light. Massive and overwhelming at times, fragile and delicate at others. ‘Lumière’ is not a pre-rendered screening but a highly improvisational performance on the edge of concert and visual arts, driven by a constantly refined piece of software – written by the artist himself specifically for this project. ‘Lumière’ is an ongoing work in progress with every performance representing a unique snapshot of the current state, adapted to work best in a given performance space. The title ‘Lumière’ simply means light in French but also refers to the pioneers of early cinema, Auguste and Louis Lumière.
‘Lumière’ premiered at Unsound Festival in Krakow and has been touring Japan, Europe, USA and Canada, including festivals and venues like CTM/transmediale Berlin, FutureEverything Manchester, Donaufestival Austria, Elektra/MUTEK Montréal and Digital Revolution at the Barbican London. The Dutch premiere in The Hague is entitled ‘Lumière No. 15’.
Robert Henke builds and operates machines that create sounds, shapes and structures. He is fascinated by the beauty of technical objects, and developing his own instruments and algorithms is an integral part of his creative process. His material is computer generated sound and images, field recordings, photography and light; transformed, re-arranged and modulated by mathematical rules, real time interaction and controlled random operations. Henke’s work has a particular focus on the exploration of spaces, both virtual and physical. Many of his works use multiple channels of audio or are specifically conceived for unique locations and their individual spatial properties. His long-term project Monolake has been, alongside contemporaries Basic Channel, one of the driving forces behind contemporary club and electronic music culture since the early 90’s. Henke is also one of the main creators of the music software Ableton, which completely redefined the performance practice of electronic music.