Suspended Reflections

Translucent films – being reflective and refractive – prove to compose surprisingly complicated projections of light. The manipulation of materials consequently redirects light, which causes the rays to intersect and diffuse. The projected reflection of these undulating paths is an additive abstraction of the light source and the reflective film.

Suspended Reflections consists of a sheet of reflective film hanging from the ceiling and two spotlights that intersect the film. The reflective film is susceptible to slight movement from air disturbance. The top of the film is mounted between clear strips of Plexiglas and suspended by steel framing-wire to maintain a reductive quality. The surface of the film is sheen and unscathed, with a slight tuck towards the bottom to manipulate light.

With a similar approach to abstraction, Stan Brakhage makes vivid use of light and water in his 16mm film, titled Commingled Container (1977). The content is constrained to the integral relationship between light and the obstructing materials; water and the camera lens. With a clearly constrained essence of the subject, Brakhage’s work allows palatable comprehension of the mechanics, while displaying mesmerizingly-dynamic visuals. The result is an abstract film, with moving images of light – shaped and formed – that are strangely familiar, yet distant from normal perceptual experiences.

Suspended Reflections breaks the conventions of moving images, which are generally captured on film (or digital media) and projected uniformly onto a canvas. Suspended freely, the film shifts the reflected-light cyclically across the walls and ground. This expanded use of space takes the approach of Olafur Eliasson with Your Museum Primer (2014). The minimal elements – of a suspended lens and controlled light – combine into an affective experience of crafted light.

With the floor-space of the installation invaded by reflection, the audience is confronted by interaction with the light. As users move around the piece, the film rotates from air movement to encourage further navigation of the work. When the light is obstructed (before reflection), users can investigate the relationship between the uniform rays from the spotlight and the resulting manipulation of the reflection by blocking light. With these interactive entry-points to the work, I hope to encourage a playful exploration of the complex visuals.