For the third film in our Material series, Glenn Ligon takes us upstate to Kingston, New York, to watch his long-time collaborator, Matt Dilling, the founder of Lite Brite Neon, transform glass tubing and noble gases into vivid language and forms. Founded in 1999, Lite Brite has been a pioneer in helping contemporary artists incorporate neon into their work.
Detail view of production, Lite Brite Neon, Kingston, NY.
Glenn Ligon's 'Untitled (America/Me)' (2022) in progress at Lite Brite Neon.
‘Paint is a material,’ Ligon says. ‘Language is a material. Neon is a material. I’m interested in playing with that word [‘America’] as material. So to cross it out, to invert it, to put it upside down, to make it blink off and on obnoxiously. It’s all a way of playing with this word when we think we know what it means.’
‘Material’ is a film series exploring the physical matter of art-making, taking us further into artists’ creative process through deeper engagement with a single material. Revisit Matsutani’s ‘Glue’ and Party’s ‘Pastel’.