Hello. My name is Tommy Bobo. I am an artist currently living and working in Washington, DC. I was born and raised in South Carolina and spent a lot of time in Kansas.
I came to make light art after years of making videos about the cinema. With time, I became more interested in the apparatus of projection as opposed to the images and stories they show. Over the course of several years, I took apart every kind of projector to make my work. Dismantling video projectors was not a sustainable practice so I moved toward manipulating the basic building block of cinema, colored light in space.
My work is made through two significantly different processes, often starting with a small light phenomena or material that alters the behavior of the light and then building a program that manipulates computer-controlled light. Working with just the light and physical materials is intuitive and experimental, while the coding is a slower methodical process. Each feeds the other and opens up new possibilities for the final piece.
When was the last time you sat in a quiet room and observed how the light hits the wall or bounces through the room? My work leads viewers to this state of observation using brighter, quicker, and more colorful light, with the hope that next week the viewer will see how, at just the right time, the sun hits the bathroom mirror and for just a brief moment there is a disco party.
Light art is about amplifying nuance, giving it a physicality that confronts the viewer with something they may have otherwise taken for granted. Through the use of materials that disperse and magnify, light becomes tangible and produces an experience for the viewer that is a balance between a science fair and the transcendent.