“Tunnel View” Uses RGB LEDs to Push Optical Boundaries

It’s amazing what one can do with a few RGB LED strip lights and some mirrors. Hans Kotter’s “Tunnel View” reminds me a little bit of Yayoi Kusama’s recent rendition of “Infinity Room,” which uses reflection and tons of LED lights to create a seemingly endless abyss of pixilated illumination. Kotter approaches things with a bit more restraint in Tunnel View, although each piece in the collection is completely mesmerizing and engrossing when viewed up close. To create Tunnel View, the artist formed colorful LED tape light into circular patterns and embedded them inside stacks of Plexiglas blocks.

From far away, each piece seems fairly self-explanatory, but at close range each light tunnel plays tricks on one’s perception; a prolonged viewing causes perspective and dimensional reality to fly out the window.

Kotter uses dimmable LED lights and an LED dimmer in each piece to further affect the viewer’s experience of the artwork. Art critic Peter Lodermeyer describes them, “The light-flooded forms remain inexplicable, like in an abstract painting and at the same time oddly real, material and photographically precise. They seem,” he continues, “organically animated - and yet their colors are so smooth, that they maintain an air of something confusingly foreign and inapproachable.

Tunnel View was on display at Art Basel 2011 in Miami, and at Debuck Gallery in 2012.

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