Spectral Light as Sculptured Space

Irene Rousseau
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science (2001)
Pages 271–282


The author uses elements of physics to create sculptures using the transparent nature of light and color in an attempt to search for unexplored means of creativity. Color and transparency are properties of light which, by the interpenetration of space in one's visual perception, become sculpture. This artist created three sculptures using dispersion of light into spectral colors by two different methods and one using the combination of these two. They are refraction and diffraction by transmission and reflection, respectively. Observations, visual results, and aesthetic considerations are included to provide the reader with a background for the optical effects achieved in the sculptures. A brief historical overview of the role light has played in art is presented. The significance of the sculptures lies in bridging the disciplines of science and art.