Bodyworks Series: Studio Matrixx (Ila Berman/Michelle Fornabai)
The interference screen of the Visual Resonance Series is made out of twelve 6” wide acrylic bands heat-formed into structural loops. The bands form two series of parallel lines which are superposed but offset by the depth of their loops. The architectural screen is formed to operate like a diffraction grating—a device which employs a large number of precision ruled, parallel and equally spaced slits on a glass plate to analyze the interference effects of light. The banding, bending and tinting of the screen’s surface produce waves that generate a set of pulsating and fluctuating interference effects and moire patterns—sensory affects that thicken the visual and attribute a density to the transparency of the material medium.
Moire—a french technique for pressing wave patterns into fabric—is applied to the acrylic surface to produce fluid effects. The heating and bending of the acrylic bands into curvilinear loops, deforms the elastic medium, distributing tensions while translating forces along the surface. Heating the acrylic to a semifluid state allows it to attain a structural reciprocity--its viscosity developing and maintaining a shearing stress dependent on the velocity of the flow. Like a wave, the surface tension generated at the bends, resists, transmits, and reflects forces through the more flexible areas of the loop, producing a varying curvature throughout, the curvilinear series of sinuous forms at the macro-scale emulating the laminar flows occurring at the micro-scale of the medium. The wave gives rise to diffraction in bending at obstacles (ground), reflection and inversion where it meets a fixed or rigid moment within the form, and refraction where it encounters a difference in the material resistance of the acrylic.
The loops in the series are mutually formed counterparts. They are equivalents, having the same function and characteristics, yet are interdependent. They fit each other as they interlock, and complete or complement each other as they interweave. Each singular loop, although physically discrete and differentially specific, is also an intermediate form, integral to a series of continuously modulated bands that gradually merge to form the interleaved lamellar structure of the screen. The module is not based on a system of modular proportioning, but is a result of differential modulation that generates continuity through resonance, producing a stable structure through intermediate adjustments.
Despite the screen’s allusions to the orthogonal, continuities generated along, between and across its bands resist the requisite dimensional differentiation of cartesian space. The folding of plan, section and elevation produces an indivisible multiplicity, a curvilinear surface that inhabits and enfolds space while being irreducible to its manifest planes of projection. What this means, is that the screen cannot be described in traditional architectural terms. It effects a distortion of measure in orthogonal projection, demanding an unfolded map, a locally descriptive method which navigates and tracks relative movements, variations and changes of direction as one moves along the inflected surface of the bands.
The successive series of modulated bands propagate waves laterally through delay and relay. As discontinuous loops, the internally repetitive bandwidth operates cyclically, generating a series of wavering lines of different wavelengths. The bending and modulation of the bands generate gradient loops, the multiplication of which lead to the amplification and dispersal of information across the surfaces of the screen, perceived as the superposition of multiple waves and their interference effects. Interference refers to the physical effects of superposing two or more waves—the resonance and intermodulation generated when two geometrically patterned surfaces or waves converge and diverge at repetitive and rhythmic intervals. The overlay of intelligible ordering systems is thus transformed into the indistinct experience of the sensory pulse. The amplitude and intensity of the pulse corresponds to the degree to which superimposed waves coincide, while variations in frequency result from the patterned overlay of differently scaled curvilinear wavefronts subjected to repetitive incremental shifts in orientation. In the undulating wave, geometry is unraveled and propelled by the vector, the serial iteration of which propagates the wavefront and sets it in motion.