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Thread: Early Laser Art

  1. #1

    Default Early Laser Art

    I was going through an old laser publication today and found an article about what's one of the first uses of lasers in an art exhibit. It was a show called "LASER:BEAM:JOINT" by artist Keiji Usami at the New York City Jewish Museum in the early half of 1969. The written histories of lasers in art has the first exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum in December 1969, but Usami and Rockne Krebs were there earliere, Krebs exhibiting laser beam sculpture in '68. The article describes early laser safety issues, and laser beams linking acrylic sculptures.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Costa Rica


    One of the biggest promoters of laser art in Cincinnati back then was Dr. Leon Goldman, an artist himself and "the father of laser medicine". I worked with Dr. Goldman as a research tech at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in the early '70's and it was there I became interested in lasers in art, met Rockne Krebs, put him up in my apartment when he was in town and assisted him in a couple of his "sky scan" laser beam sculptures (using our lab's SP171 20W argon). Years later when I was doing lasers for Led Zeppelin, Krebs threatened to sue me for infringing on his famous patent. I may still have some old brochures, flyers or articles from that period I will donate to your collection if I come across them. Keep up the good work!
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    Last edited by Photonbeam; 07-18-2014 at 22:17.

  3. #3


    Thanks for the input Steve. Here's more about the late Mr. Krebs:

    On a somewhat related note, here's an ad for the first public display of holography, done in 1968 by Jason Sapan who is still a very active holographer there in NYC.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Costa Rica


    Thanks for that link - I had never seen that article. That explains why he didn't pursue the lawsuit and gives some insight into his opinions about the differences between laser art and entertainment. I didn't know that he had passed away. Glad he got some recognition for being a pioneer in the field.

  5. #5


    Just found a great description of Usami's work above, with pictures!

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