Stephan Tillmans Captures The Final Flickerings of Televisions Turning Off

Stephan Tillmans Luminant Point Arrays 1

Luminant Screen Shapings 1

Stephan Tillmans Luminant Point Arrays 2

The work of German graphic designer and  photographer Stephan Tillmans combines a fusion of new and old technology. Outdated cathode-ray televisions are turned off to reveal a strange but familiar geometry, which are then captured with modern, high-resolution cameras and techniques. This kind of CRT technology is no longer used, and the images the Tillmans collects are equally rare, as each is a finite moment that can almost certainly never be repeated. According to Tillmans, his work is a “photographic series of old tube televisions taken at the very moment they are switched off. The TV picture breaks down and is abstracted to its essential element: light. Each of these photographs is from a different TV, but it’s also the length of exposure, timing, and time the TV has been running before the photo is taken that affects the results.”

Tillman’s recent portfolio is broken up into two categories – the Luminant Point Arrays,  (seen above) made from color television sets, and the darker, more stark shapes of the Luminant Screen Shapings which are taken from black and white televisions (seen below). The more recent Screen Shapings lack color and some variation, but also have a more delicate, line-based visual strength. (via booooooom)

Luminant Screen Shapings 3 Luminant Screen Shapings 4

Stephan Tillmans Luminant Point Arrays 3 Luminant Screen Shapings 5 Luminant Screen Shapings 6


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  • nate

    Rad! thank you for reminding us the beautiful imperfections of analogue. something lost in a generation of coded algorithms. this is a great concept. strong enough to host an array of analog visual studies. scramble patterns, white snow, even macro typography would be stunning to see. keep it up.