Caroline Mathieu


Caroline Mathieu is active as a designer for theater creations. The roles she takes are diverse: lighting designer, scenographer, performer and researcher. After a product development course and a master after master in Theater Sciences (University of Antwerp), design, design and theater come together in the part-time art course Scenography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.

After her studies, she started as a lighting design assistant for the performance “It’going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend” by Voetvolk | Lisbeth Gruwez. Since then she has worked as a freelance lighting designer for Mercedes Dassy, Tom Adjibi, Igor Shyshko, Tale Dolven, Dan Musset, Laurent Delom de Mézerac, Alexander Vantournhout, Moya Michael and Helena Dietrich, among others. Parallel to her career as a lighting designer, she worked as a performer in interactive theater projects.

The combination of these experiences convinced her of the power that light carries and motivated her to conduct deeper research into the influence of light on the perception and experience of it within a performative setting. After a number of artistic residencies and a research grant through the Flemish government (arts decree), the research found a framework within the Arts Platform Brussels in the form of a doctorate in the arts (VUB/RITCS).

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Light Matters

Photo: Jorien Onsia

In residentie L U M I N A L  LAB

L U M I N A L  LAB explores new ways of working with light in a performative space. It focuses on how colored light influences the viewer’s perception and experience. Is it scientifically clear how light affects the (sub)conscious mind of the viewer and is it possible to go beyond the subjective ‘feeling’ of color?

In the context of a PhD in the arts, a two-fold approach is pursued: on the one hand, the research attempts to scientifically clarify how colored light influences the perception process and what this effect entails within a performative setting. On the other hand, the artistic approach aims at the creation of an immersive installation that functions both as a laboratory and as an experience space for the intentional spectators. This installation is called L U M I N A L  LAB.

The name is a play on words between lumen and liminality and is exactly that; a play of light that reflects on the very specific nature of light itself. Liminality, because it operates at a crossroads between the conscious and the unconscious, between science and art, but above all, because it draws the viewer’s attention to the change of colors and their intensity.

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