The artist Jim Campbell (b. 1956) works with LED lights to create extremely low-resolution images, exploring the margins of visual perception and revealing how much or how little information is required for comprehension. “Using simple technologies, Campbell recaptures both a sense of wonder and a joy in the act of observing that we seldom find in art today,” writes Matt Stromberg in Art Practical.
Exploded View, consisting of 1,152 hanging white LEDs, extrudes a traditionally two-dimensional surface into three dimensions. From most perspectives, the work appears as a random array of blinking lights. But from a privileged vantage point, the subject shifts into focus: figures barely decipherable by the eye but strangely comprehensible to the mind. As Stromberg writes, “When viewing his works, one is reminded of the wonder that early viewers of cinema must have felt when stunning reproductions of the everyday world grew out of the simple combination of metal, glass, and light.”