‘Now You See It…’ operates as an interactive optical machine for viewing, through which the experience of the City of Brisbane is transformed. Combining the ideas behind visual apparatuses such as the microscope or periscope into a single form, the piece exposes the inner workings of these clever machines. By removing their skins and embedding them into a grid, the carefully placed mirrors invite users to stop, interact and see their environment in a reflective and immersive new way.
From a distance the cubed grid appears heavy, however the closer you get, the more it disappears. Openings at three sides of the cube allow for the user to physically enter the space and immerse themselves in the colourful grid that supports a series of seemingly floating mirrors.
The coloured, labyrinthine pathways that emerge, marked by mirrors at various angles form kaleidoscopic viewing corridors. These mirror finished stainless steel planes define specific lines of vision, drawing in and distorting images of the environment around you.
Pending on its environment, a range of forces shape its internal and external performance. One might look down to see up (the sky), up to see down (the fine grain details of the ground and the movement of the passing visitors). Another may gaze forward and see the back of their own head, or interactions may occur between viewer and viewer as they try and navigate the mechanics between what they are seeing and where they are looking. Each successive mirror plane also picks up the grid of the mesh, forming a frame around the views, but also further distorting and disorienting the viewer. ‘Seeing’ becomes more than simply ‘looking’ it becomes a process where discovery of unexpected and undecipherable new spaces prompts a questioning of our primary sense, while bringing attention to what could otherwise go unnoticed.
‘Now You See It…’ is an enigmatic sculpture, a machine that engages users with their surroundings and an educational experience exploring the nature of human vision.