Manuel Abendroth, Jerome Decock, Els Vermang
Resolutions: 4x4x4, 8x8, 5x10, 5x15
Sizes: 2 * 2 m, 1.35 * 1.35 m, 2.4 * 0.9 m, 1.65 * 0.9 m
Technique: MDF, inear motors, LED, custom tailored electronics, generative software
Four modules are arranged into a square presenting a regular grid of black tiles. Each tile can be activated by a linear motor extracting it 10 cm from the installation's vertical plane. The individual control of the tiles’ motion allows for the creation of three-dimensional reliefs based on simple geometric patterns. These patterns appear at irregular moments and shortly after decompose, following a random logic. The programming of the motion nevertheless follows the principle of a composition's use of variables to establish a balance between ordered and disordered configurations. The formation of patterns underlines the geometric design, whereas the random arrangements privilege the play of light. The conception of the tiles motion, the program, therefore proposes a dialogue between both.
The tiles are retro-illuminated by LED’s projection of white light on the black back plane of the installation. When the tiles move, the projected light starts to superpose forming gradients of different intensity to the point that they appear white. The luminous white surfaces on the black background gives the illusion of shadow - but bright shadows. This inversion between light and shadow is achieved due to a special treatment of the black surface of the background giving the projected light of the tiles a material quality. In this manner the spectrum of white light, its intensity, is assigned to the position (space) and motion (time) of the tiles constituting the installation.
The varying intensity of the gradients further create an optical effect: an extracted black tile produces an invert movement of a retracted white surface and vice versa. Here the real movement of the tiles opposes the optical illusion. The installation 4x4x4bw has been conceived as a complementary one to the 4x4x4rgb version. The program controlling the motion of the tiles is exactly the same in both versions. But where in one version the balance between colours and geometry is achieved through the ordered and disordered arrangements of the tiles, in this black version the optical effects establish the dialogue.
The installation’s elementary visual vocabulary and its architectural characteristics position the artwork within the tradition of Art Concrete whereas its programmed logic reveals new qualities of light. Here the programmed compositions link motion and light with order and randomness.
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