Static is an installation by Wim Janssen that focuses on the phenomenon of television static. Television static is an artifact of technology, a physical phenomenon and unwanted by-product. Wim Janssen tries to imitate and materialize static by means of an apparently slow and inefficient process.
Lightwaves, besides their frequency and amplitude, also have an orientation. A polarization filter allows light to pass through it only in one such orientation. When one looks through a piece of this filter, it appears perfectly transparent, just a bit darker than normal plexi or glass. However, when one looks at another piece of this same material through the filter, rotated at 90 degrees, the second piece becomes an opaque black surface. This happens because the light that passed through the first filter cannot pass through the second filter; every other orientation gives a different degree of opacity.
For Static, a polarization filter was cut into small rectangles of one square cm, in random orientations, as if they were large pixels. These little squares were then placed between two large rectangular pieces of plexiglass. The screen looks like a slightly darkened window. A rotating disc of the same material was also placed in the exhibition space. When the screen is seen through this disc, it turns into a half transparent field of video noise: white noise that is created entirely by the manipulation of light.
Credits: Concept and realization by Wim Janssen
Produced by Werktank
Supported by the Flemish Authorities.