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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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chromastrobic light – Paul Friedlander

  • On October 16, 2006

Imagine a physical sculptural version of a dynamical system in 3d space or a complex particle simulation, the kind that appears as a floating gas vapour. Using a technique called ‘chromastrobic light’ Paul Friedlander conjures spectacular light sculptures that are the ultimate incarnation of the late 60’s light-show aesthetic bought into the now. They also sit nicely in the lineage of waveform art – everything from early artist experiments with oscilloscopes – Laposky, Whitney, Bute et al to recent computational art concerning attractors, particles and Bezier acrobatics.

The work ‘Dark Matter’ appears as a 3 dimensional iridescent waveform, the result of chromastrobic light projected onto a rapidly spinning rope reflected off a Mylar mirror (flexible mirror surface). Because the rope spins at up to 600 rpm the human eye perceives a three dimensional multicoloured image. It doesn’t stop there – spectators can interact with the piece via two high frequency sound beams which alter the speed of the rope’s vibrations and the colour of the light.

Freidlander’s most recent installation, Timeless Universe concerns itself with the alternative cosmological ideas of English physicist Julian Barbour. 10 different kinetic pieces are arranged in groups illuminated by projections showing images from 3 different computers all generating real-time animations that modify, modulate and transform the chosen subject matter.

videos of his earlier work

Its comes as no surprise that Friedlander was an acolyte of the original psychedelic light shows scene the first time round – he built his first light sculptures while a physics student at the University of Sussex before graduating in 1972. via dataisnature


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