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The psychedelic light shows of the 1960s and early 1970s blended the cool carefree attitude of the pop arena with the seriousness and mysteries of high art. Comprising elements from painting, film, color-organ performances, coffeehouse jazz concerts, electronic-music events, rock music, performance art, Happenings, Actions, underground Beat poetry readings, and scientific experiments, the light show drew together a wide variety of practices in an attempt to create an immersive visual and sound experience.
Documentation of the work of the Joshua Light Show, Elias Romero, Mark Boyle and Joan Hills, and Single Wing Turquoise Bird is on view in Visual Music.
The light show offered a neutral place in which abstraction and representation, the scientific and spiritual, the electronic and natural, and the visual and aural could all be collaged together in a vast swirling eddy of overlapping sensations. It was the ultimate synaesthetic experience, and one you can appreciate for yourself at the Hirshhorn!
Joshua White & Gary Panter Light Show footage edited by Nick Catania; Videography by Peter Shapiro and James Tufaro; Music by Critter’s Buggin.