Destructive Observation Field

Title of ArtworkDestructive Observation Field
Year of Origin2014
    45 minutes
Collaboration/Shared Production/Research
    KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, Germany
Medium/Type of Artwork
Light Source
Light-Optical Factors
History of a work

A bright multicolor laser beam points at a black reflective sheet of plastic hanging freely from the ceiling. Most of the light is absorbed by the plate, turned into heat. A small part is reflected to a white screen on the opposite side of the room. The heat creates deformations and induces structural changes of the surface of the plate, which leads to dynamic and complex reflection patterns. The laser beam scans over the surface of the plate in slow random movements and leaves traces of destruction. The light patterns on the projection screen make the process visible.

The same technique that creates these spatial decompositions of light also destroys them when the process is repeated too often. There is no strict separation between 'writing' changes to the plate or 'reading' the deformation. The observation process is destructive.

By adding more and more imperfections to the surface of the plastic plate, the resulting patterns become increasingly more interesting until a certain threshold is reached after which the process seems to reverse. More destruction leads to less interesting results, ending ultimately after a long time with just a diffuse reflection of light. The installation becomes blind.

Destructive Observation Field can also be performed. [link to performance version]

The installation behaves like a living organism, it creates expanding and contracting forms that have a semi-organic appearance. During the course of the exhibition the deformations of the plate add up resulting in a more and more complex surface structure. The visible shapes will get more detailed and fragmented. The density of the stored information on the black plate increases.

Special features artworkn/a