Photographer Reuben Wu has released the final chapter of his groundbreaking Lux Noctis project, which involves lighting large-scale landscapes with drone-mounted lights. Titled “An Electric Storm,” the digital artwork has an incredible physical installation that combines a print with AR light projection.
Wu has been working on this series since 2016, and his photos of halos above rock pinnacles have gone viral across the world.
“Conceived in 2016, this groundbreaking landscape photography project draws inspiration from chiaroscuro painting, planetary exploration, and science fiction,” Wu states. “Images from the series have been featured in National Geographic, Time and Wired, and the printed compendium is part of the permanent collection at the Guggenheim, MoMA and Met museums.”
“An Electric Storm” is a newly remastered digital artwork that shows a mountain being illuminated by beams of light from the sky. Digitally, it’s viewed in video/animation form (make sure you enable the background music for the full experience):
The individual frames that went into this artwork were captured by mounting a powerful light to a drone and flighting it vertically above various parts of the rocky mountain.
“Bright geometric lines, a recurring motif in this series, flicker and arc in tension with the oblique textures of the darkened landscape,” Wu writes about this piece. “This narrative is further enhanced by sonic and musical elements to create a looping sequence which is neither photo nor video, but something in between.”
The physical fine art print installation uses a carefully calibrated projector for AR projection mapping. Here’s what the artwork looks like in real life — it comes to life with the push of a button:
“There has always been a physical component to my work in the form of fine art prints – I make all my own prints, and they are all very limited edition high value pieces,” Wu says. “Once framed and hung, they are simply the best way to experience my images.
“However, my work also incorporates motion, video and animation (and these are pieces I have released as NFTs) and are not possible to showcase as a print. The existing method of wall-mounted screens do show motion but are inherently bulky and heavy that don’t look good when switched off.
“What I’ve been working on is merging the physical presence of prints with the digital of the NFT so that even when the motion is inactive, the piece still functions as a piece of physical wall art.”
“An Electric Storm” was minted as an NFT, and today Wu auctioned it at Foundation, where it fetched 25 ETH (worth about $55,500 at current crypto prices). Wu’s 3 NFT auctions on Foundation have now netted 30 ETH, 23.88 ETH, and 25 ETH, respectively.