Herbert W. Franke


Vintage photograph, unframed
18 x 24 cm
7.1 x 9.4 in
Edition of 5 (thereof 1 available)

The "Light Forms" by Herbert W. Franke are early examples of "generative photography." In contrast to depicting photography, this is about the realization of Herbert W. Franke's abstract pictorial ideas—if you will, about visual inventions that show forms and structures that have not already existed but were first created or made visible by special technical means. Unlike the light graphics of the 1920s, it is about images that were systematically created under defined conditions. For the light forms, with the help of Andreas Hübner, a then-journeyman in the Siemens photo laboratory, mechano-optical self-constructions were used.

The main instruments were white-painted, illuminated wires that were moved when the aperture was open. Motifs were created with a rotating disk set up in the foreground with free gaps through which the illuminated wire was recorded with an open aperture. The rotating disk leads to a stoboscopic effect. A special case were the so-called "spatial studies," in which the wire was not guided by hand but hung up and set in rotation. The background was illuminated by the projection of a light-dark line grid.