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Lecture in Toronto

Soleil de minuit – Craft, Art & Color Science

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Hopefully fun, interesting and informative:

My lecture at the Canadian Craft Biennial at OCAD University (Toronto) on September 16, 2017

Full conference program available on:

http://canadiancraftbiennial.ca/symposium/about/

Abstract:

Soleil de minuit (2015-2017) is a permanent Glass Art installation in the metro station Place-D’Armes in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

It has been crafted by the French artist Adrien Lucca in collaboration with the glass studio Debongnie (Belgium). Produced in the context of an exchange of artwork between the cities of Brussels and Montréal, Soleil de minuit is made of 14 panels of epoxy-laminated mouthblown “Lamberts” glass “pixels”. Each panel is individually framed within the 1960’s concrete “modernist” architecture of the metro station, and backlit by high-end white LEDs. Its design is based on the idea of permanently transporting the color of Brussels sunlight during the summer solstice at sunrise into the metro station, in 14 steps from dawn to day. From a technical point of view, Soleil de minuit has overcome several challenges: The epoxy-lamination technique has been created from scratch by the studio Debongnie to produce large, unique glass panels measuring 207 x 157 cm, each weighing 210 kg.  Each panel represents a circular light figure, made of 1813 colored glass “pixels”, which has been generated by an algorithm coded by the artist. This algorithm acts like a bridge between the physics of colored glass, craft and visual arts. It implies physical measurements of the glass color properties in relation to their interaction with the selected LEDs, it generates 14 full-size maps for the production in the glass studio, and it allows the artist to precisely select colors among the 5000+ references available in the Lamberts antique glass factory in Waldsassen (Germany).

 

Thank you Kathy Kranias for inviting me to the Biennial!

Thanks: Vitraux d’art Debongnie, Glasshütte Lamberts, Bruxelles Mobilité, Société de transport de Montréal, GVA lighting, Aelbrecht-Maes metaalconstructies, DIX au carré, été78, Speculoos

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Microkosmos: preview

MIK4

MIK3

Views of the installation behind scaffolding

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Microkosmos (flemish for microcosm, i.e. “little world”) is the title of my latest installation situated Rue Egide van Ophem 46 in Brussels.

Made on the 7.5 x 22 m wall of the patio of the future centre “Het huis” (a house for two non-profit organisations), it comprises a wall painting and a “special white” light system that changes the colors of the painting at night.

More information will be available when the installation will be inaugurated in 2018.

Yellow flower VS Special White light

Video by Benoit Dusart, 2017

Work about to start in Brussels

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Two pictures simulating the same wall-painting illuminated by daylight (bottom) and “Special White” (top)

It’s been nearly 2 1/2 years that I have been periodically working on a public installation for the new building of “Het huis” at Egide van Ophem n°46, Uccle, Brussels, BE.

Next week I will finally start making the permanent installation called “Microkosmos” which consists of a 7.5 x 21.5 meters wall painting, illuminated by custom LED white light sources that substantially modify the colors of the paints.

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more information soon

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3rd of 3 projects at été 78

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été78 p3

Hommage à Edwin H. Land, 2017

Halogen lamps, special white lamp designed in collaboration with GVA lighting (model FL-100), various objects

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The space is illuminated by two different white lights that have the same whiteness and color temperature (about 3000K). Common colorful objects are displayed on two pedestals: fruits, flowers, color samples, beer bottles, etc.

The objects illuminated by the special white light dramatically change: pilsener beer look like sparkling rosé, dull blue objects appear bright turquoise, warm yellow plastic becomes bright orange, lemons become whitish, dark purple flowers appear dullish blue.

All colors except for white, grey and black are changing. People with “normal” color vision are experiencing something like color-blindness. People’s skin and blue eyes also change, they somehow appear more beautiful…

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Here’s the text written for the show (in French):

Opening, 2nd of 3 projets @ été78

There’s still a chance to see this 2nd chapter of the exhibition on Saturday March 11 at été78, rue de l’été 78, 1050 Brussels.

Contrast

14h-copy

2PM

13h-copy

1PM – sun starts illuminating the background

 

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Rosace, quasicristal dodécagonal

baie-100

Variations of the visual appearance of a stained glass window during the course of the sun in the sky.

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Sunlight / Stained-glass

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Simulation of the changing visual appearance of an East-oriented Stained-glass window depending on the daylight color and orientation:

7:30 AM: before the sun rises, the sky illuminates the window

7:45 AM: a yellow Sunlight reaches the window

8:00 AM: the Sunlight is already whiter

12:00 AM: the Sunlight is white

12:30 AM: the Sunlight disappears, only the sky illuminates the window

4:00 PM: idem

6:00 & 8:00 PM: the sky’s color changes slightly

All this has been simulated using physical data about the light of the Sun and the Sky in the south of France, and physical data acquired by scanning colored glass with a spectrophotometer.

 

Glass-light interactions on the prototype

window-detail

With the studio Debongnie (http://vitraux-debongnie.be), we are working on a Stained-Glass prototype to be installed in a 13th Century Cistercian Abbey in the south of France. My project passed the pre-selection and we are in the final of the competition against 2 other duos artist/glass-studio.

Cistercians didn’t put colors, pictures or crosses on their windows. Their windows were supposedly « albae fiant, et sine crucibus et pricturis » (white – or colorless(?) -, and without cross and representations). Very few original 12 & 13th Century Cistercian windows survived and we know little about how they interpreted this rule.

My proposal is to produce “white light” in the Abbey, by a combination of different optical types and colors: transparent light greenish blue, light blue and light reddish blue mostly, and opalescent whites that diffuse light and are less transparent.

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METAMORPHOSIS

During the course of a sunny day, the light will vary. The visual appearance of the window will be changing a lot because of this variation.

Behind the window is a yellowish-white stone-wall. Before noon the window and the wall behind it are in the shadow. Around noon, the sun illuminates the window directly and the opal glass are becoming very bright. During the afternoon the wall behind becomes illuminated, allowing the transparent colors to appear. Finally around 4-5PM the shadow moves on the window and the opal glass stops being so bright.

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GOLD + BLUE = WHITE LIGHT

Interestingly, opal glass will appear white but will project amber light on the walls or the floor of the building. The average color of the light passing through the window has been computed to be white. The glass selected last month in the factory Lamberts in Waldsassen were chosen to produce this effect, and the situation has been simulated with the light spectrum as measured last summer in the south of France.

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BLUE SKY REVEALS THE COLORS

Finally, there’s the possibility of seeing the sky from an angle in the Abbey. When people will look at the window with the sky behind, it will reveal new colors again. What looked almost colorless will appear as different shades of blue and yellowish whites.

 

Photographic Glass Characterization

g161

Graded Cobalt Blue light ref. G161, origin: Glasshütte Lamberts (Germany)

rose_or_clair

Graded Gold Pink pieces, origin: Glasshütte Lamberts (Germany)

uv

Non-standard yellow ref. Special Yellow UV sample, origin: Glasshütte Lamberts (Germany)

1242xx_2332

Light Turquoise ref. 1242xx, origin: Glasshütte Lamberts (Germany)

1302f_3034

Dull and relatively light Blue-Violet, ref. 1302F, origin: Glasshütte Lamberts (Germany)

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When working with mouth-blown “Antique” glass (the glass traditionally used to make stained-glass), the irregularity of the material is a given property. Every sheet is unique and its thickness varies between 2 to 6-7 mm, with an average thickness of about 3 mm.

For perfectly transparent sheets, the color of the glass depends on the thickness of the material. If you want to have a high-level of control over the color that you want, a possibility is to measure the glass thickness using a digital camera and a light table.

However, this is not easy. The light-table non-uniformity has to be taken into account to correct the pictures, as I did here.

It’s been a few months that I’ve been developing software/hardware solutions to perfeclty measure the transmission of light that is characteristic of every single piece of mouth-blown glass. It now works pretty well.

(If ever you are interested by the technique you can leave a msg!)

 

 

Phases of the sun as light spots, 2015

14 PHASES copyA model for a stained-glass windows project based on the sunlight of the 2015 summer solstice in Brussels, BE.

Click on the picture to zoom.

difficult to choose…

choice

“Keys of a spectral light-colour piano”

synthesizer_keys_1000_500_var_1_keys_31

Recently in the LIMA conference: http://lima-project.fr/programme-de-la-journee-industrielle-lima/ Noël Richard was tlaking about the colour differences across the visual EM spectrum and said that the DeltaE L*a*b* (1976) formulae were suited to compute it. I am not sure I did the right thing in the picture above (it’s still a bit complicated and obscure to me…) but this picture, as it would be printed by my Epson, should contain something close to the rendering of equally-colour-different EM bands. The picture contains 31 bands, like “keys” of a colour piano… The background is a 10% relative luminance neutral grey and each “key” has the same power.

Notice that the bands are very close in the yellow, and even closer in the blue-green areas: that’s where we are supposedly most sensitive to frequency-difference.

Notice that on the other hand the bands are far from each other in the red area.

 

Original spectral data: 31 gaussians with a variance of 1nm (click on the diagram to zoom)

31 gaussiennes

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