The Vision Machine is a kinetic light sculpture that produces a 20-minute film based on the behavior of light in prisms. Drawing on optics and material science, this optical box harnesses the same physical principles that give rise to everyday atmospheric effects such as rainbows and sundogs by shining light through a series of rotating prisms and focusing it back onto a wall with a lens.
The Vision Machine is conceptually based on Riccardo Manzotti’s idea of the “Spread Mind,” which proposes that consciousness is spread between physical phenomena and the individual. The viewer doesn’t see the world; he is part of a world process. In the installation, diffracted light serves as a metaphor for our consciousness as an interrelated process of worldly phenomena, partly external and partly internal, but never static.
Melvin Moti worked collaboratively with a team of Rensselaer undergraduate physics and engineering students to create The Vision Machine.
Curator: Emily Zimmerman