the capsule installation new york

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window installation at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue, June 5 — July 8, 2012

Athina Rachel Tsangari has created a film and an installation for the DesteFashionCollection 2012, commissioned by art collector Dakis Joannou: a Greek Gothic mystery inspired by Polish artist Aleksandra Waliszewska.

Sofia Dona & Dimitris Theodoropoulos from have conceived together with Matt Johnson from Haos Film and have designed a kaleidoscopic installation for The Capsule film.

Marianna Xyntaraki supervised the construction in New York, on behalf of hiboux 

realized project


The installation design proposes a breakthrough repurposing of 3D technology, a kaleidoscopic “machine”.

The “machine” consists of four main elements:

1. A 3D screen, programmed to show two separate movies simultaneously

2. A series of inclined mirrors surrounding the video screen on all sides (ceiling, floor and side walls).

3. A triangular-celled plexiglass lattice, dressed with circular polarising filters.

4. Inside the triangular plexiglass lattice, some of the surfaces are covered with light-weight plexiglass mirrors to create a kaleidoscope effect, reflecting reproductions of paintings by Aleksandra Waliszewska.

How the “Machine” Works

A 3D screen simultaneously shows two separate movies created from the same content, but juxtaposing and supplementing each other as twin narratives. Slow- or close-to-normal-speed scenes are punctuated by extreme slow motion shots at different camera angles, creating a kaleidoscopic narration in multiples. The sound design  mirror the viewer’s visual perception by mixing low and high frequency ambiences between surround speakers.

The two separate movies are projected onto the same screen by borrowing the technology used in 3D cinema. In 3D cinema, the “left eye” and “right eye” images are projected at the same time using differently polarized light. The special polarizing filters in the 3D glasses you wear allow for only one of the two images to pass through. Here, differently polarized filters are applied to the window so that when a visitor approaches, depending on which opening in the lattice they look through, they see either one movie or the other, which magically appear on the same screen. 

The mirrors that frame the main screen offer another surprise. When polarized light bounces off a mirror, it flips to the opposite polarity. This means that the reflections show a different movie to the one you see on the screen itself, quadrupling the magic.

The triangular lattice also work into itself as a kaleidoscope. A number of openings are dressed with mirrors, reflecting the movie in new distortions. Some of these openings also house works by Aleksandra Waliszewska, which are only visible in the reflections, adding a new dimension for visitors to discover.

The installation travels as a self-contained “kit” that is assembled in situ, consisting of the screen, a set of plexiglass mirrors, plexiglass lattice, polarizing filters applied on the lattice, and a flash drive (with the video content). It will require the building of a “black box” to house the “kit” inside the exhibition space, and an amplifier with a set of speakers. No seating is required as it is meant for a walking viewing adventure, discovering the narrative as one moves across the “window”. Alternately, it could be installed inside the window of a storefront, running 24 hours a day on loop.


photos by Tom Sibley and hiboux

realized project/υλοποιημένο έργο

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