Here is a virtual installation of the 100cm sphere I have currently commissioned to be fabricated. The sphere will be mounted inside a enclosed canvas room which can be later used outside of the gallery for a location installation.
These pics document a test installation using a 3D projector and a stereo pair of ‘single element lens’ images.
2 small spheres with 3-d lenses (results in a 3d version of the Phenomoflex) that is held to the face.
Here is the first large glass sphere installed into a wooden box 40cm square.
These are images of the first weather balloon / installation test. The balloon has a 70cm focal length lens taped to the (ripped) opening. The projection inside the balloon was compromised by light entering the room I tested it in. Next time I’ll have a room prepared with only an opening for the lens.
This is a virtual mock-up of a potential installation. From within a darkened room the viewer can see the outside world projected into the sphere by a single element lens similar to that found in the human eye. The result is hypothetically the same aesthetic and optical quality as is experienced by the retina.
The fundamental aesthetic phenomena that takes place on the surface of the retina is both known and unknown to us. It is arguably how infants perceive the world, sharp in the middle and blurry towards the edge. Gradually the brain’s sophisticated processing of vision gives us perception and the aesthetic derived from the limitations of the eye become unknown.
It is this ‘unknown eye’ that I am interested in, a place where the physical world meets the physical self in a process that is not part of our consciousness. Through my work and experimentation with single element lenses that replicate hypothetical retinal vision I hope to isolate the ocular part of vision, to take out the brain’s part of perception and invoke the primordial, physical sensation of sight and reintroduce ourselves to a significant yet hidden relationship with the physical world.
Here are images of the first custom-made glass sphere, it’s make-shift cardboard housing and the results.
This prototype was made using a pearl light bulb, cardboard and a simple 50mm single element lens.
Here is the first custom made glass sphere being made by Pete Reynolds for the second prototype (http://www.reynoldsglass.com). This sphere was a successful ‘proof of concept’ in that the chemical treatment used to etch the glass managed to ‘catch’ the image at the precise pre-determined focal length. The Sphere has a 10cm diameter.
We are now working on a larger version which will be roughly the size of a basketball.