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We tried crossing two beams of light inside a block of aerogel, thinking it might somehow produce a brighter point in 3D space.  It doesn’t.  However, some beguiling effects can be obtained, in 2D and in 3D, using two projections onto a block of aerogel.

Perhaps reminiscent of dappled sunlight and silhouettes of passing strangers, this is actually two projections of Outtake – a version of Ghosts from 2003 – from different angles onto a small block of aerogel.

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Also – rendering of the Mac dock into 3 dimensions


Miniature mockup adding realtime shadows

model-aerogel-ghosts outtake

Still of Outtake projected onto aerogel.


Aerogel supplied by Airglass AB

… exploring the magnificent light properties of Aerogel (see earlier post here). This is a weird and wonderful substance. Projecting through it is akin to projecting in a smoke-filled environment, but it’s a solid space. These images don’t do the physical reality justice. More soon.

Aerogel apparently holds 5 record properties, including the best insulator and lightest solid on the planet. It is used by NASA to collect space dust, and this in turn was an inspiration for Liliane Lijn to produce a piece of work using Aerogel at Riflemakers in Soho (London) – see here.

We have a piece of Aerogel, kindly provided by Airglass AB, and it is extraordinary stuff, and visually absolutely beautiful. Half way between glass and nothing, like a chimera or ghost.

It does weird things with light; it looks yellow outdoors and blue indoors; light reflects/refracts off it in interesting ways.

Aerogel sample