Berlin born multimedia-artist christopher noelle aka tofa is a professional lightpainting photographer and visual-artist based in linz (austria).
“I tumbled upon this topic back in 2003 by fooling around with an interactive installation by the guys from Pips:Lab (NL) during the streetart exhibition „backjumps” in Berlin. The options that came to my mind trigger me since then.
Equiped with my first (kinda very slow) digital camera I hooked up with a friend of mine to create new lightpainting pictures in the darkness. I always had a passion for graffiti, sketching, projection and graphics, so the combination of those interests was the ideal base to become a decent lightpainter. With the time we spent in countless self-tests, our knowledge was growing and with the ongoing technical revolutions the results were getting better and better and today I have a huge travelbag from cheap blinking toys up to hightech-toys that allow lots of styles and help me to realize what I want to create.
There´s a funny story that happened when I was shooting at the former Berlin wall in Berlin Mitte (which must have been around 2006). I was using the background of the wall for one of my lightpainting-actions when the security guys came up and thought they caught me red-handed spraying a graffiti piece. So one was shining a torch in my face while the other one searched in my backpack for cans. The only thing they found were different LED torches and when I was allowed to argue and showed them the results of my work on my camera, they were simply amazed and asked me to go on with my art. So the fact that the virtual graffiti traces are nowhere near illegal action is another benefit of this photostyle.
Todays cameras and tools offer more options than you can handle, so I basically try to reduce my setups based on a clear minimalistic concept upfront. I work with a Canon 7D, filters and various lenses in combination with different tools like blades, brushes, torches and a pixelstick, either in my dark studio or outside.
The power of light in the darkness still is phenomenal and outstanding to me. I´ve learned everything about photography from scratch and being an autodidact might help me to permanently find new ways of production-methods.
The knowledge about building custommade LED-tools and mapping projection methods is an essential help and daily helps me finding new inspirations. Also the hunt for new blinking devices on my travels and online research bring up new ideas.
From macro-photography over portraits up to urban landscape scenarios, longtime-exposure photography in combination with lightpainting is not always about creating an „Orb“ or the same repetative style – it offers so many open techniques and themes that I still explore for myself and I´m glad that I found an interdisciplinary way to bundle all my interests in one output.
One of my addictions?
I always had a passion for sneakers and since two years I decided to work on an ongoing series of creating a special lightpainting setup with new bought shoes in my studio before I wear them. So sometimes it takes a couple of days before I actually can put them on my feet.
There are still a lot ideas in my mind which I havn´t realized so far and which I havn´t seen by anyone else. So it´s only a question of time that you will find completly different art-projects on my timeline.“
About Christopher Noelle
Since 2003 Chris has a deep focus on the theme of lightpainting-photography and lightart-animation. By his permanent experimental research and development he´s today one of the pioneers in the international lightpainting-scene. His approach to find new ways to work with light and light sources is permanently evolving and generates highend artpieces.
By his work as multimedia-artist Christopher has found a genre-comprehensive conceptional workflow that emmits continuously new directions by the combination of projections, calligraphy elements, the usage of pixelsticks, stencils, motor controls and selfconstructed tools.
The core of his artistic work goes far beyond conventional multimedia-installations- and lighting-design-concepts and Christophers´ approach is to bring the analogue and digital world in accordance with eachother to redefine urban space and enlarge the viewers angle of vision.
Especially the aspect of working with new conceptual ideas to creat never-before-seen images underlines his artwork and sets a clear distance to other international renowned lightpainting artists.
By the move from Berlin to Linz in 2014 he was able to refocus more intense on his art, working on new concepts for exhibitions, building projections, software-development for realtime lightpainting and new analogue and digital artworks.
His artwork has been published in international magazines such IdN, Men´s Health, StreetwearToday and Page, it can be found on numerous online-blogs, is captured in TV-reports by ARTE, ARD and PRO7 and companies like Red Bull, Lacoste, Diesel, Sony, Carhartt, Carlsberg, Warsteiner and Converse have booked his art for exhibitions and campaigns.
Christopher is an active member of the LPWA – the Light Painting World Alliance, which is the international umbrella organization for lightpainters and he is Austrias ambassador. He also spreads his knowledge by giving lightpainting-workshops, offering teaching-lessons and pro-collaborations with universities and associations to create new conceptual art. [Official Website] [Metofa]