POLARIZING THE POPULATION
As an artist exploring the intersection of science and art, I’m willing to go to great lengths to create things that have never been seen before (I exhibit no other masochistic tendencies). Over the years I pioneered impressionist mosaics, created the world’s first tri-level mosaic (for Disney’s 50th), the largest live mosaic, irregular mosaics for the Grammy’s 50th anniversary, animated mosaics, and developed a new hypothesis of animal vision.
This current project explores how we often see only what we want to see — especially relevant in the age of alternative facts and truth relativism. The artwork employs a quirk of polarized light. When cellophane is viewed through polarized sunglasses, it erupts into random, beautifully saturated colors, but when the orientation of the sunglasses is shifted, the colors morph into an entirely new set of hues. By exploiting this process, I’ve managed to embed two wholly separate images into a single giant artwork.
Now people can experience diametrically opposing realities while looking at exactly the same thing. One person might see Trump as savior, while another (with slightly different glasses) would see him as a disaster. Each would be unaware that the other is seeing something different, and would have to discuss it to reconcile the disparity — illustrating the importance of communication in unwinding dual truths.
When viewed without polarizing glasses, the artwork appears as a glowing, clear/translucent acrylic frame.
When putting on an ordinary pair of polarized sunglasses, viewers see a brilliant explosion of color that creates an image like the ones below. Some viewers, however, have been randomly given glasses with slightly different polarization and see a wholly different “truth” — a nice surprise for someone who thinks he’s seen it all.
EDUCATIONAL AND INTERACTIVE ELEMENTS
Viewers can examine the artwork close up to learn the fundamentals of polarization. The final artwork will contain 4,500 1” x 1” cellophane tiles, and measure 6 x 8 feet.
There are actually five images embedded in the mosaic… the invisible mosaic, the two main images and their negative counterparts. Tilting one’s head while wearing glasses will reveal the negatives, and viewers will spend considerable time cocking their heads once they’ve learned the secret.