Editor goes ‘Into the Ether’ at Dayton Art Institute

By: Cari Zahn – A&E Editor

Imagine walls of lights surrounding you, each specific light with their own exceptional features. Some twinkle, some glow, and some seem to follow every move you make. The lights are so grand that you hardly notice the darkness around you, unless, in some cases, you stop moving and the lights go out.

This is the experience offered by the Into the Ether: Contemporary Light Artists exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute (DAI). Though it is a very visual experience, the exhibit features more than just flashing lights and changing colors. It is a showcase of experimental pieces that operate based on the perspective of the observer and changes in the atmosphere.

These unique and interactive pieces kick off the Dayton Art Institute’s “Year of the Classical Elements.” Light, along with water, fire and air, is a “primary aesthetic principle in art,” according to the DAI. The experimental and innovative approach that these contemporary artists take towards light pays homage to the Light and Space movement of the 1960’s in California.

From personal experience, I can testify that no one person will experience this exhibit in quite the same way What mesmerizes one may not quite make sense to another, but do not limit yourself to going through the exhibit only once. Each piece, along with being aesthetically pleasing, has its own experience for the viewer to enjoy over again.

You might not find yourself with your mom, running around in circles in a dark room, giggling like you are five-year-olds again like I did. But, even if you are not overcome by blissful feelings of carefree youth, it’s a good way to pass time and experience something unique if you are spending the summer in Dayton.

Into the Ether: Contemporary Light Artists is on view at the Dayton Art Institute through June 26th. Admission for students 18+ is $11 with ID.

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