LUX is a collection of 176 photographs split into four distinct phases. The sun's eleven-year oscillation is a dynamic unifying factor for all phases. Similar to four movements of a larger composition, each phase is a closed system. The images contained in a phase presaged the others. They cycle across tokens but are restricted to their own set of loops. Still, a few have broken out and remain petrified.
LUX: Subverting tradition to showcase the most powerful energy source in our solar system
In his work as Figure31, Loucas Braconnier has used digital photography techniques to explore the world around us and create new visual perspectives on reality and technology. In LUX, he returns to this approach by photographing and manipulating images of the sun, challenging viewers to think about this ever-present natural entity in new ways.
Although we see the sun every day, we’re often told not to look at it or photograph it directly. By taking photos of the sun directly, this collection challenges viewers to look at the sun in a completely different light. Each photograph is heavily modified in post-production. Even though each piece features the same subject, they each have different color palettes and perspectives.
This collection is the result of a long-term creative process for Loucas. “I’ve been taking photographs of the sun for about a year,” he says. “I researched the different scientific approaches, tried many of them, then realized I was not interested in good results. I wanted to work with a camera abstractly while using special tools that would allow me to see things that are generally not visible if you take a simple picture of the sun.”
By focusing on exploration rather than perfection while creating these photos, Loucas was able to find and enhance small details in each piece. He goes back and forth between taking photos and editing, often making very small changes to the photos over a long period of time. “Changing a single setting just a tiny bit can have an oversized effect on the whole image,” he says. “I often give up on some images and go back to them later. Editing images is a slow and excruciating process.”
The final pieces are incredibly striking and bold. “When I first worked on images for the collection, I didn’t want to do something too imposing installation-wise,” says Loucas. “After some time, I realized that the subject of these images is the sun, and the sun is the most powerful energy source in our solar system, so the collection and its images have to be imposing.”
This collection is dynamic - the images will cycle across the tokens according to a specific set of rules inspired by the sun's eleven-year cycle. Collectors will go on a journey with Loucas as he uses new tools and approaches to continue to manipulate the photos. This approach reflects the different cycles of the sun and comments on its ever-changing nature. “I work with underexposed images and modify them extensively,” says Loucas. “The extremes I go to with these files to make specific details come out or tune out others is the opposite of trying to achieve a result to represent reality accurately.” Some of the pieces will be more dynamic than others, depending on the natural evolution of the image.
This collection is also unique because it has a collective ownership structure. Similar to previous works, this collection cycles through families of images, each token acting as a window to view the images through. This is intended to unite collectors and give them a look at the collection’s growth as a whole. While each image stands on its own, they also work together to illustrate the different ways the sun can be perceived and manipulated with technology.
“These images do not communicate truth, but rather the feeling of a visual experience,” says Loucas. “They are as much about the subject as they are about the tools used to make them.” Just observing these pieces is only part of the collector experience - the images are also designed to bring up new emotions and encourage you to think in different ways.
Loucas finds that an atypical work schedule helps him be most creative. “I have a very eclectic sleeping schedule. I try to stay out of tune with a normal circadian cycle,” he says. “I’m always working, and would not want it any other way. Errors, mistakes, or random other things I find along the way contribute a lot to my creative process.” He also enjoys listening to an eclectic playlist while creating these works, ranging from contemporary classical music to electronic to organ compositions.
With LUX, Loucas continues his exploration of technology and perception of reality. In addition to being aesthetically fascinating, these pieces illustrate the dynamic nature of photographs and focuses on what’s possible with the right technology.
About the Artist
Figure31 is a Montreal-based artist with a practice centered around digital photography. He’s inspired by the open-source ethos of web3 and interested in how technology shapes an understanding of reality. Having released 13 projects, notably including SALT, Figure31, 27, is a force in the digital art world, creating breathtaking works & building truly crypto-native community.