Argentine-born sculptor Julio Le Parc crafted a number of light assemblages and helped write manifestos for the radical French collective GRAV (Groupe de Research d’Art Visuel) decrying the art world. The most celebrated of GRAV’s members, Le Parc contributed to numerous public displays and immersive installations, many of which were designed to destabilize the viewer’s sense of space and, in turn, understanding of the public sphere. More germane to this dissertation, however, were his works such as Lumiere visualisee B (1962), which consists of constructed boxes of painted wood, painted acrylic glass, motors, disks, and light to create moving-image works and environments.
Le Parc’s series of Continuel-lumieres played with the boundaries of sculpture and projected light. Media historian Frank Popper describes these works in this fashion: “Each is a flat, circular ground ‘framed’ by a shallow cylinder of reflecting metal; the cylinder catches projections from a hidden, moving light source and turns them into a web of light lines that spiral across the circular ground.” The viewer is confronted by a object with the frontal orientation of a painting, the three-dimensionality of a sculpture, and the continual cinematic display of light in time. His Cercle projete from 1968 was a projection apparatus fashioned from painted wood, painted metal, optical lens, motor, and light. Like the classical cinema, the piece projected onto a white projection surface. Le Parc also created pieces in which he placed motorized mobiles in translucent cubes with different lighting effects. Works like those of Schoffer’s and Le Parc’s concretize film artist Nathaniel Dorsky’s claim that “Beyond everything else . . . film is light sculpture in time.”