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From Jim Campbell's exhibition. A close shot of tens of light bulbs suspended from the ceiling in a dark room.

Jim Campbell

Indirect Imaging

22 November 2014 - 25 January 2015

In winter 2014, we presented Indirect Imaging, the first ever UK solo exhibition by renowned American artist Jim Campbell. Using LED lights, Campbell constructs exquisite light sculptures derived from simple films – birds in flight or commuters walking. By reducing the visual information to the bare minimum he creates captivating works which make the everyday appear magical.

From Jim Campbell's exhibition. In a dark room, spotlights are projected on to the floor.

Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He studied Mathematics and Engineering at MIT in the late 1970s and has since worked in filmmaking, interactive video and LED light technology. His background in electrical engineering, mathematics, photography and filmmaking enables him to make immersive works that explore the space between the representative and the abstract. In a world of high definition Campbell’s evocative and deliberately lofi work reminds us of something more timeless.

Indirect Imaging includes two large scale installations: Tilted Plane (2011) and Last Day in the Beginning of March (2003). In Tilted Plane hundreds of glass bulbs, with filaments replaced with LEDs, are hung at varying levels, creating a sloping field of flickering light, a landscape for you to explore. Last Day in the Beginning of March fictionally chronicles the last day in the life of the artist’s brother using text and multiple light sources to imply specific memories and events.

A screen made out of lights from Jim Campbell's exhibition. The shadow of a man walking can be seen on the pattern.

Campbell’s work is in the collections of major museums including MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, LACMA, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the San Jose Museum of Art. His numerous public commissions include the San Diego airport, Madison Square Park in New York, the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, and the new San Francisco central subway in Union Square as well as collaborations with ballet and dance companies.

See the reviews of this exhibition by Studio International  and by DURA

"For this superlative exhibition at Dundee Contemporary Arts, the darkness of the rooms becomes a canvas for the lights and the illusion of motion. The galleries seem both vast and intimate"
Darran Anderson, Studio International

Artist Interview | Jim Campbell on Indirect Imaging

Exhibition images

A screen made out of lights from Jim Campbell's exhibition. The shadow of a man walking can be seen on the pattern.
From Jim Campbell's exhibition. A black rectangular canvas blocks multi-coloured lights, but some light from the lights can still be seen from behind it.
An installation from Jim Campbell's exhibition - hundreds of circular lights are suspended from the ceiling.
From Jim Campbell's exhibition. Visitors to DCA Galleries walk in a dark room, beneath tens of white light bulbs which are hanging from the ceiling.
From Jim Campbell's exhibition. A close shot of tens of light bulbs suspended from the ceiling in a dark room.
From Jim Campbell's exhibition. In a dark room, spotlights are projected on to the floor.