OP Arts

Brewster’s kaleidoscope, Op art, and interactive moiré resonances


One of the things about the kaleidoscope that I find personally intriguing is its application of a universal principle of triangulation (in the placement of the internal mirrors) and, in this sense, it is somewhat like an ‘inside-out’ glass prism (the latter of which is used to split white light into the colour spectrum).

I have created some small interactive moiré modules (more in the spirit of experimentation) in which two identical patterns are overlayed, the upper one of which may be dragged slowly over that underneath to reveal emergent patterns and a variety of resonances. This principle could be extended through the morphing of patterns (in a continuous or quantised scale-like manner and in relation to the passage of time), or through the addition of a third pattern overlay, or through a programmed autonomous attraction to common resonance points or nodes of the most synchronous and symmetrical arrangements of patterns, etc.

These shimmering moiré patterns in the experimental modules below are visible when you click over a pattern and, while holding your left-mouse-button down, slowly drag one the upper pattern over the one below. These interactive modules also strongly relate to the work of Op artists like Riley and Vasarely.

Furthermore, they provide a model that seems to strongly relate to snowflake variability in hexagonal symmetry, and also the way dynamical nonlinear systems show ‘windows of  periodicity’ (patterned behaviour) at the bifurcation-zone between regularity and chaos (viz. Chaos Theory, 1980’s).

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Op art

Op art, also known as optical art, is a style of visual art that makes use of optical illusions.

Op art works are abstract, with many of the better known pieces made in black and white.

When the viewer looks at them, the impression is given of movement, hidden images,

flashing and vibrations, patterns, or alternatively, of swelling or warping.

Practice of Nodebox like OP arts