Mirror, mirror, on the wall… what if you were made of wood? Interactive artist, Danny Rozen, has done just this, creating a mirror out of 830 wood blocks - but would you put one on your wall?
The concept is simple but formidably clever: a tiny camera gathers light and shape data, before sending it to a computer that processes it and uses hundreds of tiny electric motors to shift the wood blocks into the image in front of the device. Subtle gradations of shade are achieved by both the natural grain of the wood and the angle at which they are displayed, casting shadow if necessary.
The result is a sort of ghostly image, imprinted upon the wooden pixels like a haunted trace and just like a real mirror the image moves in real time - although the effect is more like some kind of spirit mimicking its subject than your average mirror. Rozen, who has created a wide variety of interactive art pieces, has experimented with other materials, although there is no news as to what surface he might attempt to use next.
Lying at the heart of this project is again a simple but deeply moving concept: the idea of everything around us acting as a mirror, or perhaps more precisely - making everything around us into a mirror onto the world. By using a naturally unreflective surface to create reflections, Rozen highlights not only the human beings incredible capacity for technical accomplishment, but the fact that every object in the world might reflect, in some sense, the image of those who have crafted, used and sold it.
The nature of reflective surfaces and reflections is what is at stake here - but what’s more, it’s a stunningly impressive piece of craftsmanship in its own right and if anything can be said to reflect the image of those that created it, then this surely reflects well on Rozen.