Maxwell’s Dream: Painting with Light

Maxwell’s Dream: Painting with Light
By Kaustuv De Biswas and Daniel Rosenberg, graduate students in Architecture
May 3–June 4, 2011
Infinite Corridor Community Lounge 10

Maxwell’s Dream is an art installation that allows observers to play with a magnetic field to create patterns in light. The installation consists of magnetic handles mounted on a translucent wall and connected with light sources behind the wall. By touching or rotating the handles, visitors can change the intensity of color and perturb the magnetic fields in ways that allow them to “paint” with light. The visitors become part of the equation, constantly negotiating with an environment that wants to return to a luminous equilibrium. This installation is essentially a cybernetic loop, with the system (magnetic field) and human actions feeding back and affecting each other in a visually expressive and playful manner.

Funded in part by a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT.

Advisors: Tom Hayes, Lecturer on Physics, Harvard (Physics 123); James W. Bales, Edgerton Center Assistant Director
Team: Drago, Edwina, Dina and Jennifer
Special Thanks: Gershon, Brian, Skylar, Sara, Carl, Will, Edgerton Center and the Responsive Environments Group