generative kinetic light installation
Manuel Abendroth, Jérôme Decock, Els vermang
2010 reworked in 2011
A grid of 8*8 modules, each of them constituted of 8*8 flipping squared tiles constitutes a horizontal surface. The size of the subdivision of these modules is insprired by Mies van der Rohe's Dominion Center's ceiling's subdivision and confronts the artificial light architecture with a kinetic 'natural light' one. This horizontal surface becomes a 'ceiling', an 'artificial sky', just like a pergola - hence the working title.
Each of the tiles has a light reflective (whitish, polished inox) side and a light absorbing (black) side and can spin around its horizontal axis. The bi-chromatic treatment of the tiles produces a contrast in between its sides, playing on two light characteristics, reflection and absorption. A light play constituted of reflection and shadow is created out of the tiles' movement.
Whereas during the day the light play is constituted by the subtraction of sunlight creating shadows and reflections, during the night the light play is constituted by the addition of artificial light.
Further the rotation of the tiles around their horizontal axis allows putting a white side next to a black one whereas the intermediary states create openings in the ceiling. The result is a light and shadow
play and a kinetic visual vibration, underlined by the sound of the servo motors, whereas each tile in a static state acts like a pixel of a black-white image having the resolution of 8*8*8 pixels.
Moreover the installation proposes a 'binary' aesthetic: black-white, reflection-absorption, open-closed and subtraction-addition.
The key element of the installation is the kinetic motion driven by the spectator's movement underneath which acts as a catalyst for patterns to appear. These patterns are the ones of flows and swarms, which describe as much organic as social collective behavior. This analogy to natural and societal interaction is drawn through a playful mechanism, resulting into the identification of a visitor, represented by its tile in motion. Moreover 'pergola' intents to establish a space where these social interactions can take place, a temporal architecture and furniture which throws a contemporary light on urban museal space transforming into a space as much for exchange as for representation.
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