Moebius display
Dynamic luminic sculpture
Telefónica Foundation´s space, Buenos Aires, 2006 / Itaú Cultural, Sao Paulo, 2007 / III Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, España, 2008 / Woodstreet Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA, 2010

Moebius display is the development of an experimental expressive interface. This interface is a simple LED (light emitting diodes) screen that has undergone a spatial and conceptual modification. Instead of being flat as the majority of screens, it is shaped as a Moebius stripe, a three-dimensional representation of the infinite. This new non-Euclidean space of expression, is presented as an alternative output that brings to surface many questions about our visual and spatial representations. The idea of looking at an image or a word moving in a one sided three dimensional object expresses ambiguity. In this way, the piece allows two contradictory ideas, two poles, to share the same space. This piece has been posible thanks to the Mamba | Fundación Telefónica art and new technologies prize and a generous donation from Osram optosemiconductors of LEDs. The next step in the development of this project includes a change of scale (20 times bigger) and the inclusion of full color LED pixels.

Subversions Season: challenging hardware -fragment- catalog's text

by Rodrigo Alonso Gran premio arte y nuevas tecnologías curator

[…] Some contemporary artists have not forgotten Paik's lesson. They know that to design really original technological experiences they need to challenge the hardware. That was Martín Bonadeo's proposal which won for him the New Technologies Grand Award in the 2005 edition of the Premio MAMbA-Fundación Telefónica de Arte y Nuevas Tecnologías. Bonadeo's project is born out of the need to avoid the traditional interfaces of the digital universe: the screen, the mouse, the keyboard. To create a new medium to find a point of encounter between the piece and the spectator that is not previously formatted by a series of devices which have become so common as to turn invisible and incapable of provoking wonder or reflection, to avoid, on the other hand, the image framed by TV or PC monitors, and the spatialized image of video projections. To build, instead, a non-existing device, a technological piece that imposes its material presence besides giving way to its flow of texts and images.

Bonadeo's work has the shape of a Moebius strip. An endless text runs through it, alternating its faces, neglecting the cuts, the jumps, the separations. Even though this device no longer causes anyone's amazement -the artist himself admits the idea comes from a childhood experience-, it does not, anyhow, cease to work as an instrument of reflection and criticism. And a criticism, particularly, of the systems of image representation we are used to, based almost unfailingly on the Cartesian planimetry. In his original project, Martín Bonadeo puts it this way: “I'm interested in creating a non-bidimensional Euclidian space. The rectangular frame and window are the prevailing forms when it comes to think about images. Casements to paint pictures – the orthogonality is implicit in the word [translator's note: in Spanish the word cuadro, used for paintings, literally means “square”] –, photographic and filming cameras do nothing but confirm this idea... The introduction of a space for expression with another topology will bring up to surface many issues regarding the traditional forms of visual representation”. […]

Moebius display, an alternative to painting and Renaissance perspective

Wall text

When I was a child I used to turn on a light and stare at it for a while, to later turn it off and remain in total darkness. For a minute, by retinal persistence, I saw the form of the light bulb, which slowly glowed until it went out completely.



To conquer it, I had to wait a few minutes so that my eyes would adapt, and a small source of light that passed through the cracks in the shutter, started to illuminate the entire hall until I could see again. Some time later I read in a book of experiments that if you took a strip of paper and glued its ends together forming an arc with torsion, you could give shape to a representation of infinity. I have a fond memory of retracing the tip of my finger over and over along this edge. The following step was to write infinite sentences or opposite words on each side of the paper in order to unite them on the same side.

Two years ago at UCLA, studying the binary logic that directs computer languages, these ideas came to me again and the first sketches of Moebius display were born: a set of LEDs (light emitting diodes) lights that can be turned on are found in a tri-dimensional weave that describes the Moebius band. If indeed the idea resulted to be very attractive, to construct it in reality required solutions much more complex than taking a strip of paper and uniting its edges. I needed the constant help of collaborators in fields as diverse – and polarized – as mathematics and philosophy, art and engineering.

One of the things that gave me the impulse to complete this was the idea of finding an alternative to the majority of the new media artworks that end up resolved on standard outputs like a printed sheet, a monitor or a data projector and speakers. As long as the rectangular window is the main form when thinking about images (paintings -the orthogonal is implicit in the spanish word, [translator's note: in Spanish the word cuadro used for painting, means literary “square”]-, as well as photographs and video cameras), the introduction of a space of expression with another topology puts forward many questions regarding the traditional forms of visual representation. In the simple act of presenting more than one point of view – different from the traditional perspective– Moebius display confronts the spectator with the impossibility of contemplating all the images that are exhibited at the same time. From that place one can see how they travel on the same side: the inside and the outside, the good and the bad, the light and the darkness.

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