….and Goethe’s theory of light and color based on Newton’s seemed to be a first common thread. At least, his theories and observations seemed to recur, directly or indirectly, in a number of presentations
Second, maybe less noticeable but definitely strong, is the indeterminacy and the ephemerality of light. Light is in part particles and in part waves, it interacts with the surrounding objects and natural elements creating all sorts of optical illusions and all sorts of colors, often tricking our eyes.
It was pretty much clear since the beginning that the theory of light and color can be used in a number of ways. it can simply help explain many optical phenomena existing in nature, or it can be creatively used to produce such effects, it elucidates the visible effects of light, but by doing this, it also reveals a number of other “hidden” features that show how “light is not merely that which it seems to be” to quote Ted Hiebert, one of the presenters.
David Madacsi’s work on optical illusions, for instance, applies the notion of “terroir” to explain the role of location and the distinctive characteristics of said location on the work of artistic expressions and the perception of place.
” terroir” is a term originally used to indicate the influence of place in the character of wine. this term, in turn, can be easily applied to the effects of light on objects. The presence of different types of atmospheric conditions, or the different combination of natural elements produce the optical diversity of the environment.
Thus, if one considers the minimal optical phenomenon of absorption and reflection of light, different effects will result according to whether the phenomenon is observed, say, on the moon or on White Sands in New Mexico. In fact, in the first case the sun might be high but the sky still remains black: there is no atmosphere to scatter the sun’s light. there is no color generated. had, Van Gogh, painted his “Starry Night” on the moon, it would look like this.
in the second case, the topography is very similar to the moon. we’ve got dunes, but things take millions of different colors. the difference lies in the existence of an atmosphere.
Adding water means adding another layer of complexity, another filter, if we want, to the environment. in his exploration of water, Prof. Madacsi looks at water as a natural lens that can magnify, but also modify and aestheticize the surrounding environment. Guided by the Newtonians laws of physics, he shows how mere drops of water may contain entire worlds.