Well known for using computer algorithms to produce abstract or unpredictable proliferations from simple lines or forms, Pascal Dombis’ latest public work is an excellent example of how his sculptures continue to push technology, even outside the art world. Dombis’ Irrational Geometrics uses thousands of vibrant line-curves in random color variations, digitally printed on glass with LED lighting, but his innovative ideas required a collaboration with architect Gil Percal and custom glass manufacturers to make the artist’s vision of complex materials and techniques come to life.
French digital artist Pascal Dombis has collaborated with architect Gil Percal to bring a European perspective to King’s Square. Positioned on the main pedestrian thoroughfare of Wellington St, Irrational Geometrics is a highly technical exercise in the limits of manufacturing tolerances for glass lamination.
Dombis confronts the human viewer with ‘his/her’ own forms of primitive irrationality through this abuse of technological processes. ‘For ‘Irrational Geometrics’ the printed glass pattern is a proliferation of thousands of line-curve shapes, through the use of an organic growth algorithm which makes the line-curve proliferate endlessly and at various scales.’ Explains Dombis during his stay in Perth. ‘It employs randomness in color, so that each line-curve has a unique color, producing a vibrant visual effect as one walks past the piece. The line-curve connects with many elements in art and philosophy history. Importantly, it also echoes to the indigenous dreamtime concept, the fact that the Australian continent is crossed by a network of invisible path lines, lines that describe story about the creation the dreamtime.’
Gil Percal brings his architectural expertise to the project via the design of the stainless steel footing and angular placement. ‘Using a combination of digital technology and traditional glass manufacturing, Irrational Geometrics functions like a virtual energy flow engaging the viewers and visitors’ says Percal. ‘Three, 10mm thick, low iron glass panels are laminated to create a total thickness of 35mm. Standing upright, the 2800mm high panels have a distinct side profile, and create a fold/unfold movement that delivers an idea of infinite shape and multiple viewpoints for the viewer.’
Having an experienced and hands on local manufacturer was crucial to the success of the project given the complexities in the printing and lamination process. ‘Despite the distance challenge of being 20,000 km away, it has been a real excitement to see Cooling Brothers jump into the project which is technically complex, understand it and propose complementary solutions to the initial proposal, in order to deliver the best artwork as possible. For us, such positive collaborative work will remain an unforgettable experience of our time in WA’ – Pascal Dombis & Gil Percal