In July of 2019, Chauvet Professional interviewed marc brickman as part of their Lighting Insights series. In the interview, marc talks about such various topics as the role of lighting in support of architecture, how to elevate lighting design to the level of fine art, and how he first met Bruce Springsteen. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Your work has often been praised for the way it separates lighting and video, so that each has its own identity. In the past you’ve said, “when the stage is on, the screen is off” and vice versa, so that lighting and video each have their moments to shine. Can you elaborate on that approach?
“I’ve always viewed lighting and video as both being part of the same design, so I want them to work together. What you do with one of them is going to influence how you use the other. They’re part of the same creative concept, but still you want to give both lighting and video their space. Nothing is gained by having them compete for attention. When you just throw lighting and video out there to see how much visual noise you can create, you’re not really designing. A good design has to have a sense of separation whether it’s between lighting and video, or light and darkness.”
Can you elaborate on that last point? How important is dark space in your designs?
“It’s wildly important! Darkness is what kind of gives meaning to light. The dark spaces deepen the sense of engagement. When people can’t quite see everything in light because of shadows or backlight, they have to try harder to figure out what’s going on. Dark spaces create a sense of mystery that adds to the storytelling aspect of a design. I relied on this thought with Springsteen in the early days. I would backlight him when he was telling stories, so you couldn’t quite see his face. This made your mind work and wonder what’s going on? Would the stories being told have been as compelling if Bruce was in bright white light? Yes, but an artistic element probably would have been missing.”
You can read the full interview here: https://www.chauvetprofessional.com/news/marc-brickman-artistic-light/