Occular Witness - four of six installations: Dendritic Growth (w. Pablo Miranda), Red Alert II, Monochromeye (w. Alberto Frigo), and

The Wheel, 2004

Dendritic Growth: lightresistors in rubber tubes, cicuitry connecting light i/o, electrolytic cell with stannous chloride solution and platinum electrodes driven by current from the light readings, plexisheets, rubber, black anodized aluminum tables. Red Alert II: 27 laserdiodes, 9 light-sound circuits, 9 speakers, plexisheet and black anodized aluminum table. Monochromeye: 2 tricolor (RGB) light diodes (LEDs), circuitry connecting light i/o, one red, one green and one blue lighsensor on a silicon fingerholder, silicon mask. The Wheel: bicycle wheel, red lacquered metal tubes, red laser diode, demodulator, amplifier, speakers. ©Arijana Kajfes

An art-as-research project done at Smartstudio, Interactive Institute during a four year research position. Work with light as an abstract medium, as it is before image and meaning takes shape. The work resulted in a book and an exhibition showing some set-ups of the experiments done using different kinds of light absorption and emission. Some of these experiments are interdisciplinary collaborations, Dendritic Growth is done together with architect Pablo Miranda, looking at different ways of using an old form of electrochemical 'computing' that generates dendritic, metallic threads resembling a nervous system. It consists of an eyelike shape that contains photo-resistors through which light is registered. The light is transformed into voltage readings that control an electrochemical cell, generating the dendritic growth as an electrochemical reaction to light, as image energy.

Red Alert II is a contained version of an earlier installation, creating a 9x9x9 laser beam cross that generates sound depending on the light intensity. A vaporous cloud of smoke moves through the cross and affects the reading and the sound output.

Monochromeye reduces vision to basic monochromatic color readings of the environment. The wearer has a fingerholder with a simple RGB reader and registers the environment by pointing at it. The colored lightbeams shine straight into the eyes of the beholder.

The Wheel, a paraphrase of Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel from 1913, can rotate three-dimensionally and creates a fourth dimension by modulating  sound when rotating and thereby splitting a laserbeam.

Photo: Per-Erik Adamsson