Optical Phenomena in Art

Fluorescent Painting AcrylicMuch of what I do has no suitable lexicon or language for expressing the techniques, process, components and methods of my projects. I blend art and science (particularly optics) to produce a novel product that appears to morph or be animated with the illusion of motion, texture and color change. My art is a reactive composition, designed to interact with custom lighting designed on the Arduino microcontroller platform, DMX or similar, compatible systems. The lights that are used, create effects or illusions that trick the eye. By using sequenced media with particular light wavelengths, what transpires is a choreography between the art and varying light. This combination often creates inversions or seemingly new compositions. One painting sometimes has multiple visual instances with variations in palette, texture, vibrancy, saturation, chromatism, and other characteristics.

Below are some terms that are included in the lexicon I have put together for my work:

Extrusionism – an artistic method or technique whereby media is extruded or placed onto a surface via a channel or some mechanism where the medium flows out in a controlled manner.

Using a channel such as a syringe to essentially pour paint onto a surface is one such way of engaging in Extrusionism. Another might be using a piece of PVC pipe to stream paint onto a canvas. With variations in media, this often leads to natural texture, gradients and other characteristics that define the art.

Pulsationism – an artistic method or technique using Pulse Width Modulation to produce light in varying intensities and wavelengths that when combined with sequenced media of various optical capacities, produces a motion effect or an optical illusion whereby the media or composition appears to morph.

Optical Sequencing Effect (OSE) – the effects produced by ordering optically varied media, such as fluorescent and primary-color paint with transitioning wavelengths of light to evoke multiple optical phenomena in a tiered or side-by-side configuration that flows across the media creating illusory motion such as pulsation, inversion, sliding, melting, morphing and other such movement or change.

The OSE can be employed on any painted or printed surface to evoke a range of optical phenomena such as absorption, interference, fluorescence, phosphorescence, reflection, electroluminescence, iridescence & dichroism. In combination with sequenced light colors illusions may appear where the eye or visual cortex is tricked into seeing the phenomena in number.