Tube televisions aren’t as common as they used to be, but like many semi-obsolete mediums, they still serve an artistic function.

Luminant Point Arrays is an intriguing series of photographs by German photographer Stephan Tillmans. Tillmans has managed to capture the light patterns emitted by a tube TV right at the moment it is turned off, as the light splits to create fascinating shapes and patterns.

To photograph the light, Tillmans sets up a tent in his apartment to achieve complete darkness (and to stop dust and hair from sticking to the TV). The same image cannot be captured twice–the result depends on the size and shape of the television and its age, as well as how long it has been turned on for. And on top of all that, it can still take Tillmans up to 800 shots before he achieves the perfect image.

Tillmans writes on his website: ”The Luminant Point Arrays show tube televisions in the moment they are switched off. The television picture breaks down and creates a structure of light. The pictures refuse external reference and broach the issue of the difference between abstraction and concretion in photography. The breakdown of the television picture describes the breakdown of the reference. The product is self-referential photography.