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IMAGE: Hypnotic GIFs Of A Newly Invented Type Of Hologram
Artist and scientist Matthew Brand dreamt up specular holography while playing a gig at a Chicago blues club. Of course.
There’s been plenty of oohing and ahhing over the opening of New York’s Museum of Math, and for good reason. It’s remarkable how fun math can be in the hands of the right curator. To wit: The inaugural installation by artist and perceptual scientist Matthew Brand. Brand is the inventor of something called specular holography, a type of optical illusion that tricks your eye into thinking a 2-D object is 3-D.
At the Museum of Math, 45 of Brand’s specular holograms have been installed on a metal matrix along one gallery wall. Visitors can use an array of overhead lamps to make the looping knots and patterns move as light cascades over the surfaces in multiple directions. Our rods and cones are telling us that we’re seeing a 3-D image. Turns out, we’re seeing 2-D pieces of metal that Brand has engraved with millions of tiny pinpoints, each engineered with its own curvature that reflects light in a specific way.
Brand calls the process zintaglio, and he discovered it one night after playing a set at a blues club in Chicago. He took off his glasses to rub his eyes, and suddenly noticed that the club’s holiday tinsel produced a different image in each eye. He began trying to prototype metal objects that would take advantage of the effect in a controlled way. “It occurred to me that the optics I wanted should be carved out of metals and plastics, but, it turned out, at the time even high-end CNC machines were not sufficiently fast and precise,” he writes. “However, thanks to Moore’s law, a few years later, that obstacle was gone.” Today, he makes the holograms out of small pieces of metal. Most of the software, he tells Co.Design, “is home-brew with some open-source visualization tools thrown in.”
Brand has big plans for the specular holography, which represents only part of his far-ranging research on human perception. “Think big holographic surfaces: building facades. Outdoor sculpture. Murals. Art animated by the sun and the motion of people. On towers, doors, windows, walls, ships. In subway and escalator tunnels. Instead of billboards,” he writes. “Anywhere the world needs to be made more interesting.”
Check out more of the holograms on Brand’s website here.
Celebrating Ben’s Bar Mitzvah at the Museum of Mathematics
The Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) is filled with over 30 fun, interactive exhibits, and it was the perfect venue for Ben’s bar mitzvah. We used two floors so we could mix up the vibe from the bar mitzvah ceremony to the cocktail hour and dancing.
An expert lighting crew, Kayne Live, was hired to help create the right ambiance, and they were an awesome addition to the event team! They really transformed one of the MoMath’s classroom areas into a cozy, intimate location for the bar mitzvah ceremony.
Nontraditional, led by Shira & Etan of Storahtelling, the ceremony was just what the family wanted: creative and intimate. Shira led the ceremony with her gorgeous voice, and Etan, who had worked privately with Ben for a year to prepare him, led the storahtelling. It was one of the most touching bar mitzvah ceremonies I have seen!
Planning and coordinating details for the reception was a blast. The dance floor was too cool: on top of a math square, it was lit up with different colors and patterns all night.
And the food was just as exciting as the dance floor. Casual stations with different themes were catered by Radish and scattered throughout the museum – an Asian station with edamame cones, citrus ceviche with candied ginger, a taco and slider station, and market salad station were all great hits with the guests. To top things off Radish staff passed around mini-desserts like milk & cookies and coconut quinoa puddings.
For an extra special treat, we had NYC’s popular Wafels & Dinges crew there to serve their famous waffles. It was a big hit with the kids and the adults! All in all, the catering was perfection!!
I was on hand at the event to keep everyone on task with deliveries and set up, and throughout the night, the hosts and other vendors looked to me for cues and assistance. Being there to diffuse last minute situations and keep the night flowing is always a thrill - I love knowing my behind-the-scenes planning makes sure all the guests have a great time and that the family has it to remember as one of their most special days.
From a beautiful family photo session across the street at Madison Square Park. It was a gorgeous sunny day and perfect for photos.
Very special thanks to Todd France Photography for sharing all of these gorgeous photos with Indelible Times.