electronic media artist
ON THE RATIONALIZATION OF SIGHT - THE ACROBAT
(2016, endless loop, cycle of 5 gif animations for large 4K flatscreen projectors,
dimension and aspect ratio variable, stereo)
The title of the video projection «On the Rationalization of Sight» refers to the book of the same name by William M. Ivins, Jr. (1938). The author analyzes the Renaissance texts «Della pittura libri tre» by Alberti (1435-36), «De artificiali perspectiva» (1505) by Viator, and Dürer's «Unterweysung der Messung» (1525). He summarizes, "The most important development in the Renaissance was the emergence of the idea that led to the rationalization of vision." This rationalization, the idea of central perspective, contributed significantly to the development of the moving image. One of the first animation devices was Joseph Plateau's 19th century phenakistiscope, which used a rotating disk to achieve stroboscopic motion.
In «On the Rationalization of Sight» Alexander Hahn simulates the rotating disk with a computer. The stills of the different phases of motion are lined up in a spiral and at first glance convey a kaleidoscopic effect. But if you look closer and let your eye wander outward from the center on one of the 16 image rays, you see The Acrobat, a beggar boy from New Delhi, somersaulting into the picture and performing his acrobatic feat, which he seems to repeat endlessly because of the circling spiral.
In addition to «The Acrobat», «On the Rationalization of Sight» includes «Endless Holidays», «Star Magic», «Finding Debbie v.d.P.» and «The Contortionist».