THE INVISIBLE EYE

Installation, 2013

Alistair Burleigh & Steph Tyszka (UK)

Designed specifically for ILLUSION, The Invisible Eye is a ‘robotic eye’ sculpture constructed from clear plastics in fractal and multi-layered forms. Through the clever use and fine adjustment of various lighting conditions, techniques, and hardware, The Invisible Eye aims to produce the illusion that a solid physical form appears and disappears in real space. The sculpture is designed to look as if it is being drawn with light in mid-air, as if a 360-degree computer generated model has somehow escaped from the computer and is hovering in ‘visual reality’ in the gallery space directly in front of the viewer, and in a physically three-dimensional manner. The reflective properties of the fractal surfaces from which the sculpture is constructed further enhance the viewer’s confusion as to in which part of their conventional understanding of everyday space the sculpture exists.

The combination of a subtle ambient soundscape audio track with the complex lighting elements of the piece brings more depth to the immersive perceptual experience of the illusion of invisibility in real space. The Invisible Eye responds to an audio track, slowly revealing and hiding the various layers and sections of the sculpture in response to the various elements of the soundscape.

Artist's Statement

We are fascinated with things we can’t see, and the limitations of our vision. A large amount of the world is frequently hidden from us, and our perception is limited to what is in front of our eyes, from a tight viewpoint. We are really interested in how modern technologies could be used to enhance or augment the traditional human perception of the bubble of reality that surrounds us. Can digital technologies be used and combined with optical illusion techniques, visual perception tricks, materials or fabrication techniques, and specific lighting tricks to create completely invisible or see-through objects? Can the visual state of transparency be controlled on demand? The Invisible Eye is an experimental installation piece exploring these themes.