kinetic installation for Stilwerk Vienna

While running an experimental pop-up workshop at Stilwerk Vienna we placed traditional techniques of Far-Eastern craftsmanship like handmade paper, calligraphy and papering with rice glue into a new context. Paper also had architectural applications as it preceded glass in doors and windows. Translucency and the play with light and shadow are at the heart of spatially using paper. Properties that are also put to use in shadow theatre. The fixed frame becomes the stage for an animated story. This inspired us to build a series of kinetic prototypes. We dynamically arranged the three elements of shadow play: light – object – projection screen to create blurring and shifting effects. The publicly accessible workshop enabled visitors to experience the continuously evolving installations at first hand and to witness their production.

Prototype No.1: Shifting Shadow

Invisible edges cast shadows onto the paper from behind. It seems like paper planes lift and lower in relation to each other. Through the slowness of the movement one only realises over time that it is actually the light that moves.
Once the light is off the volume becomes frameless and abstract. A strangely functionless body. The paper itself comes to the fore.
Prototype No.2: Shutter Fade

Calligraphic motifs fade in and out.. In a hypnotic rhythm they become blurred and return in high-contrast clarity.
One visitor fittingly called this movement ‘breathing light’.
Owing to their origins as in-situ experiments both prototypes use simple elements like disco ball motors,
tension springs from the hardware store and cardboard.

Photos and videos by KIM+HEEP