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Interactive Cubism

Categories: Art + Graphics

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Cubism was an attempt by artists to grasp the world from multiple overlapping perspectives.  In one sense this is antithetical to human vision which constructs the world in real time as our eyes swivel around whatever space we happen to occupy.  Yet there is another sense in which cubism captured our apprehension of the world as fragments we stitch together as we move.  Things are not so seamless.  We process reality rather than simply reflect things.

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Aleph, by Adam Somlai-Fischer and Bengt Sjolen challenges the notion of seeing as objective reflection, by utilizing a vertical grid of individually adjustable mirrors to fracture the spaces around it.    The mirrors pixelate the world, adjusting themselves with actuators and servos in response to the motion of visitors.  Instead of a single point of view, visitors experience the point of view of all the other visitors as the mirrors move with them, providing odd angles and unique perspective that evoke cubist space.   The name Aleph, comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story,  which describes the Aleph as a tiny sphere that reflects the universe from every possible angle.  But unlike the Aleph that Borges describes, the non-fiction version makes no claims of objectivity.   Instead it ‘reflects’ (pun intended) the world as an ever-changing flux that responds to us just as we respond to it.  

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