Spherical Vertigo Potemkin

January 29, 2010

After looking for a potemkin idea for the 5x5x5 box i delved more into the vertigo aspect of the theme. I came across a kinetic / op-art work by Jose Soto called London Scribbles in the National Gallery Victoria, Melbourne which was a moment of serendipity for me.

Op-Art is an art-style that makes use of strong contrast colored surfaces which are meant to create a sense of depth and thus create an illusion of a 3rd dimension. (image: Bridget Riley, Movement in Squares)

In case of the London Scribbles there is also the kinetic part which gives one the sense of movement. The illusion is caused by the first layer of stripes that creates a tension with the second layer of steel wiring in front. The black wire connects the black lines behind which moves with the slightest movement of the head and creates an optical fascination. I’ve tried to recreate the artwork’s illusion by making one of my own.

The next step involved making an object with the same kinetic / op-art trickery that one could experience from different angles or even enter. I thought of an installation made out of steal rods in a kind of ‘swirl’. I got me a chaotic ensemble of vertical lines at different distances creating an optical overwhelm.

I realized it contained a certain vertigo effect but not the static / kinetic movement in the same instance. I needed to bring back the principal of two layers interacting. Hence i came up with the following: a rational striped sphere with the chaotic black lines in front, giving this vertigo optical tension, and a potemkin sense of movement.

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