Impossible Beauty deals with beauty as a phenomenon informed by the patterns and design of the natural world. Technology strives towards beauty, emulating its symmetric lines and patterns. As we use technology to shape our environments, and when technology falters, mistakes become absorbed into our idea of beauty.
The making was part of a material experimentation process researching how microstructures in surfaces influence light reflection and refraction. My attention was drawn to the microstructural surface of feathers. By sculpting the layers of sublayers this work imitates the patterns from the research. The result is a sculpture that exists in different modes of scale and share light characteristics with real feathers.
On the Intersection between Digital and Analogue
The sculpting process was realised by digital sculpting and CNC (Computern Numeric Control)-routing. The CNC-router is a type of machine also known for its robotic arms in the assembly lines producing cars. It is build for industrial mass production that requires high precision. Depending on the type of work the technical settings vary a lot. The challenges for its manufacturing of acrylic glass is known to either melt or splinter. The optimal setting is by industry standards in the middle of the two. Yet, when I encountered the failed test of a splintered surface, I decided that the chaotic but yet repetitive pattern would serve as an ideal method to imitate the natural variation of the microstructural patterns in the feather.
By systemizing splintered acrylic glass, Impossible Beauty re-incorporates mistakes into our understanding of beauty. Existing on the threshold between failed and not, and moving between digital and analogue languages, the work positions itself into the unending transaction between the natural and the human made.