If light is paint, then technology is the tube, the water, the brush, the solvent — technology is the toolbox of our design imaginations. But let's dispense with the analogies.
Technology inspires us to devise new methods and facilities of delivering, changing, and disappearing light. As more sophisticated technological systems emerge — systems with multiple functions simultaneously engaged in the manipulation of light — we are more able to communicate light as a fluidly changing liquid plasma, an organic kind of substance. As light onstage takes on the more organic properties of light in nature, an audience can innately feel a space as “more real.”
The expansion of the range of concurrent control of lighting parameters, as well as the incremental decrease in size of fractions of control, presents the designer with immense bi-directional creative headroom.
But is there a third dimension in technology that is beginning to emerge? The law of inertia says a body at rest tends to remain at rest; a body in motion tends to remain in motion. Does a well-functioning multi-automated cluster of mechanics and data in, say, an automated lighting fixture have a unified energy of “good vibration?” Does this well-functioning fixture have an element of cooperative energy which aids its staying power?
We can become so emotional about a technical malfunction, which sometimes seems to occur as if with human intent — “It worked during rehearsal flawlessly, so why break down now?” Then we remind ourselves of its inanimate nature.
Does a sensitive and experienced technician, providing concentration and hands-on care to a fixture which has been essentially well-functioning, provide “something more” than just that which the repair requires? Does electronic noise or unstable power disturb more in the system than the problem would suggest?
The development of compound technical problems — those arising out of more than one instance of mechanical, data, or environmental causes — requires of us more patience and analysis than a simple problem. Does the care and patience we invest in the compound technical problem affect its resolution?
Is there a natural consciousness that begins to emerge in a unified automated system? The painter wants to believe so.