STEPHANIE ANDREWS

Trance - Art Institute of Chicago 2002

Trance is an illumination based art work that takes its inspiration from the act of being enthralled in an heightened state of meditation. Created from a front layer of glass and neon, a middle layer of electroluminescence wire, and a back layer of birefringent film, the piece offers a multifaceted, visually complex experience from either side. Trance is a very kinetic work. The bars of white neon on the front side can be animated to pulse gradually to rapidly depending on the desired effect.

The piece has a very different character depending on the brightness of the neon. When dimmed, there's a delicately animating, grainy quality to the light and the coils of electroluminescence wire behind the glass emerge. Whereas when the neon is turned up, the birefringent film on the back layer activates as a refracting, iridescent reflector. In addition, when viewed from the back side the film acts as a polarizing filter, changing the predominant color that the viewer sees as they walk by the piece. This creates a layer of saturated, mottled color. The color is also affected by the brightness of the neon on the other side, resulting in a broad spectrum of hues to be experienced. As the color of the film changes, different strands of electroluminescence wire emerge and fade away like a chameleon.


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