sean mcalister
@jason bruges studio @project context @matzine @musarc @meta architecture

▪▪▪ p r o l o g u e
▪▪▪ b l o g
▪▪▪ p r o j e c t s
▪▪▪ c o n t a c t

↓↓↓ m o r e

recent articles

deeper archives


the solaris project
10 May 2010

the solaris project is on the cusp of completion,  if that can be said before 2186.
the final reviews are imminent.
this is the text with which the images were accompanied;

nothing disappears completely 

“darkness is not the mere absence of light; it has some positive quality... darkness is ‘thick’; it directly touches a person” roger caillois, 1935
do we need to see in order to feel darkness?
how much light do people need in order to live, and how much darkness? is it even possible to imagine things without light? can we see something without interacting with it?
what is light? is it an illusion?

visual field = light x space
the drawings presented here make up ’the solaris project;’ the basis of a study into enigmatic qualities of light, of things we can just see. this design is effectively of a large optical instrument, carved from the side of a mountain in columbia, south america. the parameters of the design respond to several associated sources; how humans perceive light; our eyes, our visual perception of the visual field; the physics of light, tarkovsky’s 1972 film solaris and a total solar eclipse.

the entrance responds to scotopia; our eyes adaptation to dim light, the buildings ‘windows’ act as ducts for light, tracing the path of the sun across the sky, beginning 08:57:30 on 16th july 2186. at the heart of the building there is a void, with one seat and one screen, on which the film solaris will be projected. 

drawings: etching print and acetone transfer

projector, phi phenomenon and the psychophysics of vision
5 May 2010

phi phenomenon and the
psychophysics of vision

image: the incremental tilt and shift of projected film solaris; orthographic plan view - top middle right

the aspect ratio of the projected image is maintained by the cross-sectional proportion of each light vent, rather than a condenser lens as you would find on a conventional projector. although, in the strictest sense, since the original film reel of solaris is in anamorphic format, with 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the horizontal plane of image is condensed, only later to be expanded by the appropriate, opposite affecting lens; a module attachment for the projector.

the persistence of vision is upheld by the mechanical cylindrical shutter housed on the projector. this removes the otherwise apparent flicker of the moving film image. considering the widely accepted flicker fusion threshold for humans to be roughly 16hz, solaris will have to be projected at a faster rate than this. in fact, the shutter and film will both operate at 24hz.


designed by sean