LED light bulbs are all the rage nowadays, but you can’t beat the timeless beauty of vintage filaments. Between the late 1930s and into the 1970s, the Aerolux Light Corporation produced novelty bulbs with tiny sculptures inside. These decorative filaments take the shapes of flowers and birds which are electrically illuminated in a variety of vibrant colors. To construct these bulbs, Aerolux used low-pressure gas in their filaments—either neon, argon, or both.
Anyone who has ever experienced a moment of fuzzy vision will appreciate the clever approach to this project, entitled Seeing New York. Created by photographer Jamie Beck and visual graphics artist Kevin Burg of Ann Street Studio and Cinemagraphs, the series is a playful combination of still and animated scenes throughout the streets of New York.
Just like it might appear for someone who requires glasses, the crisp areas of each scene exist only in front of the lenses while the surrounding areas are a big blur of colors, shapes, and lights. Additionally, the entire scene is slightly animated in Burg’s signature cinemagraph technique, where “an image contains within itself a living moment that allows a glimpse of time to be experienced and preserved endlessly.” This juxtaposition gives viewers the impression that we are actually seeing things the way that the two artists might see the world.
“I’ve been thinking about the art of looking. The importance of focusing and what we see,” explains Beck. “This past March I bought a pair of Giorgio Armani frames in Geneva, classic per usual, and I decided to put them in front of the frame. To see what I see. To show you a day in New York through my lens…”