The Collapse Series No. 10
24" x 24"
Artist Statement: This series of images is a bridge between the artistic and the scientific, between
imagined and empirical. They result from close study of reflections and refractions
in transparent objects with radiosity-based ray-tracing software. Realistic calculation
and visualization of reflections could potentially make this a boring and
mechanical tool, placing it more in the photographic than the artistic realm.
However, asking the "right question" and pursing "impossibilities" bring the
study from purely scientific toward imaginative investigation.
The intention behind my work is to use art as a vehicle to study and understand
the world, along similar paths as science, converging on a holistic and unified
vision for reality. Furthermore, this study, not unlike Cubist and Impressionist
work, seeks to broaden the definition of reality beyond "the eye" of scientific
instruments into the realm of human perception: vision, not physicality, defines
the world around us. The so-called creative process results from convergence of
creation and discovery, imagining new ideas, and registering unnoticeable facts.
The result of my approach and the simulation ability of computer graphics is the
"what if ..." question.
What if we could control the physicality of our world (time, behavior of light,
properties of materials)? We could experience with our eyes what computer simulation
is doing for us. These images seek to document that reality. The artistic
quest was primarily focused on studying the reflections and refractions within
the virtual environment. The aspiration here was not to mimic or test with computer
models the reality we observe. Rather, it was to fill the gap of what everyday
experience precludes us from seeing. The scientific quest was provided by
specifying various initial conditions and setting up limits to light distribution.
These images portray progressive refinement of an object by increasing a number
of reflections. With each reiteration, light is allowed another bounce, thus
revealing more and more of the object's form. The imagery portrays what the
world would look (be) like if we could see individual strokes of light distribution
before they get a chance to interact with other surfaces, with each subsequent
step being more refined and a closer portrayal of "final" reality. In the process
of refinement, transparent objects can become temporarily opaque, and colors
can behave as momentary attributes, not permanent properties.