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Horst H. Baumann, Laserscape Kassel, 1977.

Horst H. Baumann (1934–2019)

German photographer, architect, and light artist Horst H. Baumann, who created the Litchzeitpegel (light-time level) for the Rheinturm Düsseldorf and the first permanent laser sculpture, Laserscape Kassel, for Documenta 6 (1977) in Kassel, Germany, has died. He was eighty-four years old.

Born in 1934 in Aachen, Baumann studied at Aachen University and had been active as a light artist since the 1960s. He described his motives for making the Kassel light piece—which beams an over-four-mile green ray from the Fridericianum tower to various historically and culturally significant locations in the city, including the Orangerie in Karlsaue Park and the Hercules Monument in the Bergpark—as being to “enrich Kassel with something useless, to make the city more interesting, more distinctive, and more endearing.” Though the city’s nocturnal landmark has been interrupted over the years due to a lack of funds or technical damage, the artwork was transferred to Kassel by the artist in 2018 and today is lit every Saturday.

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