This week we explored some new materials. Sam C suggested we consider Mylar (AKA biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate) for its reflective properties. It’s also very thin, so would blow dramatically in the wind. We wondered if we could utilize each of these properties to (continuing our nature theme) create a water-like effect in light?
Luckily the material is relatively cheap, we acquired 50ft for less than $40. Shining direct light on the material while it’s moving creates an array of compelling effects we’re only just beginning to understand, and a small piece of material can create a surprisingly large light effect on nearby surfaces. We tried crumpling it, cutting it up, shining images or colored light onto it… it feels like there’s lots of potential.
This evening we placed a small construction by the window, where it would blow in the breeze. We then shone a theatrical light on it. Here is the effect:
Our next steps are to understand how the effects might work in the space itself – there are quite a few environmental factors to consider at North End Way. How will natural light affect it? How will the wind affect it? Will we be able to create a more convincing effect at night? Will reflections appear clearly on the glass walls or ceiling?
We also need to explore how we involve people more. We have some early ideas, but these all depend critically on how the reflection effect works in the space – so we’ll need to gain a clearer understanding of that first. We’ll be returning to the space for experimentation very soon.