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Published on Aug 31, 2009
Wilfred gave his first performances on this new instrument in New York in 1922 and toured with the Clavilux in US and Europe often drawing audiences in the thousands during the 1920s. In the 1930s, he shifted his focus from performance to composition for his recently invented Lumia box, an automated device that looks similar to a television but functions like a player-piano. The Lumias slowly morphing light patterns unfolded for weeks without repeating. This shift from performance to exhibition, recontextualized Wilfreds work from the domain of music to the domain of art. Edward A. Shanken, Art and Electronic Media (Phaidon, 2009).
WIlfred purposely performed the Clavilux in silence.
"More and more artists of our generation have begun to contemplate light with the eyes of a sculptor gazing upon a block of marble - seeing in light a new and basic medium of expression with unlimited possibilities" - Thomas Wilfred