August Muth Bathing in Ether, art hologram of sbatract squres with photoluminescent pigment


‘Light, as we perceive it, gives us only a brief glimpse of the momentary realities in which we exist.’

The work of August Muth exemplifies the experience that light is the faithful archivist of time. In his collaborations with light he is able to archive patterns of photons and electromagnetic waves that manifest into enduring forms of material light. His holograms depict simple geometric forms that exist within unconfined free space. The polychromatic character these forms possess blend. Shifting colors interact spatially with the viewer. He regards his work as an exploration into the analogue realm of the photon, where we have the opportunity to discover the mystery of light itself.

August Muth exhibits internationally and is a pioneer in the exploration of light through the art of holography. His interest in light began at the age of 16 when he began making large water-filled glass prisms to refract light and explore prismatic color. In his late teens, as a jewelry maker in Aspen, Colorado, he became captivated by the alluring light of opals and diamonds. These interests laid the foundation for the beginning of his formal studies in art and physics at the University of New Mexico in 1975, and later at the University of Houston, and the University of Texas, Austin. He continued his formal studies specifically in holography at the Museum of Holography in New York City (1981–4). His studio, The Light Foundry, which was established in 1987 and is currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, produces artworks exploring the light-space-time continuum.

The GEOMETRIC suite of artworks consists of unique, wall hung reflection
holograms recorded on dichromate gelatin hand-coated glass.

August Muth Bewixt hologram

Betwixt, 2019 (above)
with photo-luminescent pigment and sand etched glass, 18.25” x 9.6”, optical depth 11”

Bathing in Ether, 2019 (top of page)
with photo-luminescent pigment and sand etched glass, 22.25” x 18.5”, optical depth 16”

These artworks are composed of simple geometric forms which overlap in space to create a multi-dimensional expanse of material light, time, and space. Thin wedge shapes of the holographic emulsion have been removed from some layers within the artworks resulting in windows that invite exploration. These shapes of removed emulsion also create a two-dimensional solidity that contrasts the holographic interstitial space. Each finished artwork is constructed by laminating multiple layers of individual holographic plates and one layer of black backing glass to create an archival artwork.

‘Through my work, I strive to record with precision the perceptible light-space-time phenomena. As these three elements intertwine, a three-dimensional topography of pure light is formed, revealing a window into the elusive realms of the light-space-time paradox. Luminous veils of light invite the viewer into a multi-dimensional journey. The physicality of earthly materials becomes nonessential as one becomes enthralled by the tactile quality of this light.

My intent is to reveal a cognitive holographic dimension within our ordinary experiences of light, and to stimulate a dialogue between the ordinary and the extraordinary planes of understanding. This in turn may expand our perceptions, increase our acceptance of the unknown, and facilitate the evolution of our culture toward systems that are more holistically integrated.’

August Muth