The Vision Machine

Melvin Moti

December 4December 6, 2014

The Vision Machine is a kinetic light sculpture that produces a 20-minute film based on the behavior of light in prisms. Drawing on optics and material science, this optical box harnesses the same physical principles that give rise to everyday atmospheric effects such as rainbows and sundogs by shining light through a series of rotating prisms and focusing it back onto a wall with a lens.

The Vision Machine is conceptually based on Riccardo Manzotti’s idea of the “Spread Mind,” which proposes that consciousness is spread between physical phenomena and the individual. The viewer doesn’t see the world; he is part of a world process. In the installation, diffracted light serves as a metaphor for our consciousness as an interrelated process of worldly phenomena, partly external and partly internal, but never static.

Melvin Moti worked collaboratively with a team of Rensselaer undergraduate physics and engineering students to create The Vision Machine.


Dec 4, 12–9PM
Dec 5, 12–9PM
Dec 6, 12–10PM

Emily Zimmerman

Melvin Moti lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He examines neurological, scientific, and historic processes in relation to visual culture. Over the last several years he has produced films, artist books, objects, and drawings. He has had solo exhibitions at Mudam (Luxembourg), Wiels (Brussels), Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof (Hamburg), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), and MMK (Frankfurt). His two most recent films, Eigengrau (2011) and Eigenlicht (2012), were included in The Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice, Italy.

The Vision Machine
December 4December 6, 2014
In Depth

EMPAC 2014-2015 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, the Boeing Company Charitable Trust, and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks extended to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for continued support of artist commissions.

National Endowment for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA