2014: INsite by Luftwerk at Farnsworth House

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INsite – a Light and sound illumination by Luftwerk at Farnsworth House.
Music is by Owen Clayton Condon, a Chicago based percussionist.

October 17 to 20, 2014
This post is a Preview of the installation, on Oct 2, 2014

Location: Farnsworth House at 14520 River Road in Plano, Illinois




2014: INsite by Luftwerk at Farnsworth House

2014: INsite by Luftwerk at Farnsworth House


INsite is a light and sound installation at Farnsworth House, presented by Luftwerk. This post is based on the preview of the event. The installation is from October 17th through October 20th, 2014. Luftwerk is a collaborative vision of artists Petra Backmaier and Sean Gallero, who use video projections for site-specific installations. This site – Farnsworth House – is especially important, as it is now a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House


Farnsworth House was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and was constructed in 1951.  The house was made along the Fox River in Plano, Illinois, as a weekend country retreat for Dr. Edith Farnsworth,  a prominent Chicago nephrologist.  The one-room glass house, set in a secluded area, was made to be a place where she could practice her hobbies like playing the violin, reading poetry, and enjoying nature.  Mies constructed this glass box residence of “almost nothing”.   It is a perfect example of Mies’ minimalist concept of “less is more”.. and  embodies a certain aesthetic culmination in Mies van der Rohe’s experiment with this building type.  The building has been recognized as an iconic masterpiece of International Style of Architecture. The house joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.  It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.  It is currently owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

From the website.. Farnsworth House
As historian Maritz Vandenburg has written in his monograph on the Farnsworth House.. “Every physical element has been distilled to its irreducible essence. The interior is unprecedentedly transparent to the surrounding site, and also unprecedentedly uncluttered in itself. All of the paraphernalia of traditional living –rooms, walls, doors, interior trim, loose furniture, pictures on walls, even personal possessions – have been virtually abolished in a puritanical vision of simplified, transcendental existence. Mies had finally achieved a goal towards which he had been feeling his way for three decades.”

Coming soon at Farnsworth House is INsite [October 17-20, 2014], a  digital installation project by Chicago-based artists Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero of Luftwerk, and music by  Owen Clayton Condon, a Chicago based percussionist.  They want the public to see the historic Farnsworth House in a whole new light. literally!  INsite highlights the house’s characteristic clean lines through site-specific digital video projections and original music compositions, thus rendering it into a new structure of light, sound, and space.

With INsite we intend to celebrate the structural minimalism and transparency of the Farnsworth House. Once illuminated the planes of the architecture appear to float in darkness with projected light travelling through the glass walls, creating a myriad of reflections. INsite brings a heightened awareness of the house’s innate characteristics; it dissolves the structure and distills it into an experience of light and space.” – Petra Backmaier

For more information, click here..
Below is a small, 2.30 minutes video of INsite at Farnsworth House.

Few suggestions:
– Wear comfortable walking shoes to walk about a mile [half-a-mile either way] and the walk will be in the dark! Although there were talks of golf-cart arrangements for the event. However, be prepared to remove your shoes, to go inside the building. If you have socks on, you are fine, or else, you will be provided with plastic cover for the feet.
– If possible, keep a small flash-light with yourself!
– I would recommend not to wander off alone in the darkness. There are creeks, trees, river and nocturnal animals. Stay with the tour-guide.
– Don’t miss the short film presentation in the visitors’ center, as WTTW’s Geoffrey Baer tells the dramatic story of Farnsworth House by architect Mies Van Der Rohe. Its a very well made presentation and would set you up for the installation.
Get ready to be mesmerized with the magic at Farnsworth House – INsite is brilliant!



INsite at Farnsworth House: Photo Gallery





2014: Flow / Im Fluss by Luftwerk at Couch Place Alley Chicago.. click here..
2014: Visit to Luftwerk Studio.. click here..
2012: Visit to Farnsworth house.. click here..



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