Designing the White is a photographic and analog motion depiction of human landscapes defined, mostly, by the negative space of winter.
Designing the White describes a school of thought in some traditions of Chinese landscape painting and calligraphy in which the form of the finished work is created by emphasizing and retaining white space on the paper, rather than focusing on the positive image. Wisps of white, flecked by the borders of black brushstrokes, suggest hidden mountain tops, fog-filled valleys, stretches of open land, the surface of still waters, clouds and atmosphere. In this approach, the nothingness of the page is shaped, rather than filled-in.
Luceo’s 2016 Photoville exhibition explores the visual theme of designs of white presented by winter in far northeastern Montana. Located 300 miles from a major city, on the flat, windswept plains of one of the coldest and most geographically isolated areas of the lower 48, the Upper Missouri River Basin is defined by its relationship with the cold. During its seven month deep freeze, vast foggy banks of snow and clouds roll through the landscape, obscuring and revealing its contents through brief appearances of mystical windows. With temperatures often pushing below minus 40 degrees, the snow never melts or becomes dirty, instead remaining a crystalline, pure white until the thaw returns it to the soil. Sundogs — frozen atmospheric crystals that appear as rainbows around the sun — play among the fragments of light that pierce the landscape on clearer days. Usually, it is not entirely clear where the landscape stops and the sky begins. The mixture of blues and whites freely blend together at the horizon line, creating an atmosphere where objects appear to hover, suspended like puppets hung on celestial strings.
Founded in 2007, Luceo is a creative visual agency specializing in story-based production and media for commercial, public interest and editorial application. Each year, the agency dedicates a portion of its proceeds toward the creation of work that is untethered from profit motive and highlights the creative will of its artists.