Interference draws inspiration from an unlikely pairing: an 18th century German physicist and a 20th century Japanese electronics corporation.
Ernst Chladni was not just a physicist but also a musician, and it is the combination of those disciplines that led to his most famous discovery. He invented a technique to show the modes of vibration on a rigid surface. He took a violin bow and drew it against a metal plate lightly covered with sand. When the plate reached resonance the sand would settle on particular nodal lines – leaving what is known as Chladni patterns. These proved to be important in fields as diverse as acoustics and instrument design to wave theory and quantum mechanics.
Chladni patterns vary according to a range of factors and can be described with some pleasingly simple equations. Those equations lie at the heart of this collection and perhaps show generative art at its purest: a set of simple equations which give rise to near infinite variation.
How best to demonstrate the beauty of those equations and the patterns that arise from them? That's where the Riso Kagaku Corporation comes in. They invented the Risograph in 1980 – a machine that looks like a photocopier but works like a screenprinter. The Risograph uses stencils and vibrant spot colour inks to print a single layer of colour at a time, producing prints that are vivid, textured and unique thanks to subtle imperfections in the printing process.
Risograph prints have a number of signature quirks. They don't use standard ink colours like CMYK but instead a range of spot colour and fluorescent inks. The inks are semi-transparent so can be overlaid to create new shades. Because only a single colour is printed at a time, Risograph prints show slight mis-alignment between layers. Finally, there is the unique texture that comes from the soy-based inks and the uncoated paper they are printed on.
Interference embraces the quirks and textures of Risograph printing to bring Chladni patterns to life with each artwork composed of over half a million tiny mosaic tiles, all subtly varied in shape and colour.