An Optical Illusion To Believe In

Troika Arcades Project

Troika Arcades Project

Troika Arcades Project

Bouncing off of what Bobby posted Monday, I thought I’d share an installation where artist Troika bends light through a pretty clever use of the Fresnel lens. It is, of course, an optical illusion that make it appear as if the lightwaves (or is it particles?) are magically bending in a graceful, gothic arc. But it’s not magic, it’s science. Light actually doesn’t bend this way, even though it can be bent by gravity. Here, the light passes over a large surface of the angled lens, so when the light passes through the lens, it propigates in straight lines that intersect each other on the other side, overlapping to create the appearance of an arch.  In this designboom video, Troika knows that the improbability of bending light is part of the installation’s allure, saying “even though you know it is an illusion… even though you know it is not possible, you are ready to forfeit that feeling and go with it.”

Alex Dent

November 28, 2012 / By

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