Catoptrica III

Catoptrica is an ongoing series of performance works, an enquiry into the possibility of utilising projection as a means of combining, augmenting and transforming images in a live experimental format. Catoptrica IV was a 20 minute performance as part of Edinburgh International Festival.

See it on Vimeo: Catoptrica III
Documentation video, duration: 8 mins.

A key part of the work is the experience of witnessing the live ritual of experimentation, with its implicit qualities of random effect and of failure. Each event is configured for its space and no two performances are ever the same. Images are split and layered using the manipulation of mirrors within space with shadow projection. Handmade glass vessels (derived from Libavius) and fluids are used to intervene in the projector beam, drawing references from the alchemical processes of solution, conjunction, putrefaction, distillation, multiplication and projection. Coloured fluid interventions are used to reflect alchemical colour transformations of albedo, nigredo, citrinitas and rubedo. The work is durational and ‘performances’ can last from 20 minutes to several hours. The partnership between the alchemist and his soror mystica (see the ‘Mutus Liber’) is an essential element of the experimental format.

– Four data projectors showing sequences of the classical four elements – fire earth, air, water.
– Video feedback projection.
– Mirrors, handmade alchemical vessels, glass objects, coloured liquids, shadows.