Liquid Crystal Displaced 2016 digital video, LCD screen, mirrors, cardboard, tripod
Liquid Crystal Displaced employs an assemblage of technologies including microscope elements and miniature cameras to magnify the material dimension of a ubiquitous and everyday technology: the liquid crystal elements of a LCD screen. The work brings the building blocks of the screen image into view, but also reveals their operation over time, as they are illuminated by a fluctuating charge. Though magnified to abstraction, the ‘source’ imagery consists of similarly nested screens within screens, collected from news reportage. The abstract compositions created by the individual elements are displaced from one screen to another, and viewed through a 1.2 metre long kaleidoscope, a device that is operates at the historical intersection of art and science. The kaleidoscope has its roots in scientist David Brewster’s research into the refractive, reflective and polarising properties of light, using materials such as crystals and the crystalline structure of insects’ compound vision. It is a paradigmatic example of the philosophical toy, a Victorian-era category of apparatus that encouraged an experimental engagement with phenomena and playful interrogation of one’s own senses.
Writing of the work, curator Kyle Weise suggested: “Liquid Crystal Displaced uses a combination of old and new technologies to present a disorientating experience that draws attention to media technology, while simultaneously taking pleasure in their abstract and playful display of light and colour. The work introduces an excess of attention to its technologies, amplifying them in a way that exceeds and supplants the rational, attentive spectator who would form the ideal subject of its media.”
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