Negative Light, Cafe Gallery Projects, London, 2004


Black paper, double-sided tape, 165 x 265 cm, tape backings on the floor

The source material for this installation is the same as that used for Painting (USB). The patch of light in the background of the photograph was selected in PhotoShop and the lucidity was mapped onto a scale of 6 different values. Black paper was ripped in squares in 5 different sizes (1 x 1cm, 2 x 2cm, 3 x 3cm, 4 x 4cm, 5 x 5 cm). These plus 0 represent the 6 different values.

The paper squares were stuck onto the plain white gallery wall using double-sided tape. The white backing of the tape was dropped on the floor and left there. The position in which the squares were glued to the wall was taken from the raster of the source image. Smaller squares were not glued centrally into the 5 x 5cm cell, but into its upper right corner, resulting in verticals aligned to the right.

Negative Light is the result of an attempt to transform digital information into material information following my interest into the ways, in which information changes during the transfer. It also offers a different way to read the image information used for Painting (USB) and emphasizes how the different visualisations interpret the image information differently. The images on the computer screen, in acrylic paint or in ripped paper on the wall all have the same interpretative value in relation to the invisible information. Similarly to the later Paintings (Squares), Light Patch utilizes random elements within the rigid and square pattern of the grid. Here these elements are introduced in the casually ripped edges of the paper resulting in the white of the wall shining through scattered across the figure. This both underlines and fractures the grid that is not quite brought to the fore. It also lightens the patch and gives additional texture and depth to it.

Texture is further stressed by the uneven way in which the squares are stuck to the wall, their corners often ripped or bend forward. This and the velvety surface of the paper bring the figure to live. Because of the way the paper shines, or rather does not shine, in the light the figure oscillates from the distance between standing in front of the wall or opening it up. The white paper droppings on the floor highlight the three-dimensional quality of the installation, its mode of production, and, embedded within, the chaos to which the grid might return.

With Negative Light I am returning to the topos of light that has played an important role in my earlier photographic work (Luck Encounters, 1993 - 95) as well as Chokes, 2003. The use of 'negative light' as the title indicates, brings the installation close to the essence of photography.

 Test Page by Julian S.

Michael Schwab





Wieviel Wissenschaft bekommt der Kunst?
Oesterreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft, Wien

4 & 5/11/2011


Imagining Imagination
Royal College of Art, London

10 & 11/06/2011


Suspense - International Symposium
on Rethinking Research
Cinema Zuid, Antwerp



Modes of Collaboration between
the Arts and Sciences,
ZHdK, Zurich



Architecture + MIT 150



Drawing in an Expanded Field
Academie Royale des Beaux Arts
de Bruxelles



Habitus in Habitat III
Synesthesia and Kinaesthetics
ZfL, Berlin



Unexpected Variations
Orpheus Research Center in Music, Ghent



Please support the
Journal for Artistic Research (JAR)


Arts Research: Publics and Purposes,
GradCam, Dublin



Components of the Image
Exhibition 036 at SWG3 in Glasgow



Sensuous Knowlege Conference 6
Bergen, Norway



International Walter Benjamin Association
Antwerp, Belgium



First, the Second:
Walter Benjamin's theory of reflection
and the question of artistic research

Journal of Visual Arts Practice (7.3)


International Seminar 'Light Touches'
Figures of Touch Research Project
University of Art and Design, Helsinki



The Difference between Art
and Art Research
Züricher Hochschule der Küste



Creative Practice, Creative Research
York St. John University

Download my paper in the 'Documents' section.



The Art of Research: Research Narratives
Chelsea College of Art and Design



Research into Practice conference
Royal Society of Arts



/seconds issue 9
vanishing point, the vicious and virtuous circle


Conference Contribution and Exhibition

'Figurations of Knowledge'
5th Biannual European Conference of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), Berlin

02 - 07 June 2008



Book Launch

18 May 2008


The Full Circle
A collaborative project by Eduardo Padilha and Michael Schwab

Studio 1.1, London

11/05 - 01/06/2008

Private View:
10/05/2008 6-8pm

Artists' Talk:
25/05/2008 3.30pm


Full Circle Family Workshops

Gasworks, London

19 - 22 February 2008


Keynote Paper and Exhibition

'Art and Research: How?'
International Conference at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn

14/15 February 2008


Artist Talk

'figure' at the Tramdepot Gallery, London

3 February 2008, 2pm



The Tramdepot

Private View Friday 25 January 7 - 11 pm


As if something once mentioned, now plain to see

Book by COLONY, Birmingham


The Full Circle
A collaborative project by Eduardo Padilha and Michael Schwab

Huisrechts, Amsterdam

13.9 - 16.10 2007


Political Art 2007 Almanac
Reunion Projects


Artistic Research and the Role of Critique.

In: van Koten, H. (ed), Proceeds of Reflections on Creativity, 21 and 22 April 2006.

Dundee: Duncan of Jordanstone College, 2007. ISBN:  1 899837 56 6.