© Benas Burdulis 2009-2017

Optical Surface Studies

How can objects be made to take on and emphasize the ephemeral qualities of the environment and the light around them?
Can they, at the same time, offer experiences of sensing one's own visual perception?
Can these small visual disruptions in a space become strong enough to cause people to slow down and 'sense themselves sensing' the space?
In order to create such visual experiences on an object scale, their perceived effects need to be more concentrated than if they were at the immersive scale of a building.
This asks for materials and surfaces that are very responsive to light.

The results of these first tests are objects with surfaces that react to ambient light and their surrounding spaces with different techniques and in different orientations.
It's important not to focus too much on the object itself, but rather on the visual and spatial experience that it provides.

Refractive Optical Surface

The two-sided lens geometry of these transparent acrylic objects bends light as it passes through, concentrating and dispersing it through refraction.
The light is visually amplified into bright caustics that are cast onto the surrounding space.
As a side effect of the lens geometry, the object distorts the surroundings that are seen through it, offering a moment of visual disruption.

Reflective Optical Surface

The bright reflective nature of the milled aluminum objects allows them to pick up abstracted reflections of the surrounding space, and gives them the ability to
shift in appearance as the viewer moves in relation to the surface.
The milled facets break up the surface and create three different angles to catch reflections on, enlarging the surface area and preventing it from becoming a continuous mirror.
This abstracts the reflected surroundings, causing the effect to be more ephemeral and less predictable.

Interference Optical Surface

The smoothness of the milled aluminum patterns translates well into cast resin, resulting in a transparent surface.
This transparency allows the patterns to visually overlap and create interference, or moiré.
These interference patterns shift as one moves around the object, giving it an ephemeral materiality, like a surface that is constantly changing.

Exhibited in The Midnight Special at Volume Gallery in Chicago, IL, 2017.

This research was done at Autodesk's Pier 9 residency program in San Francisco, CA, 2017

Technique: Drawing Custom Toolpaths for CNC Milling (To Create Your Own Surfaces)



Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Refractive Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
Reflective Optical Surface
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Interference Optical Surface
Interference Optical Surface
Interference Optical Surface
Interference Optical Surface