Mirage – An optical projection apparatus by Ralf Baecker / LEAP

Created by Ralf Baecker and produced by the LEAP gallery in Berlin, Mirage is an installation that uses muscle wires to move a mirror that reflects a laser beam into a shape of a landscape. Currently installed in the LEAP gallery, the piece the installation uses principles from optics (astronomy/telescopes) and artificial neural network research to form a projection apparatus.

The piece generates a synthesised landscape based on its perception through a fluxgate magnetometer (Förster Sonde). A fluxgate magnetometer registers the magnetic field of the earth which is dependent on the suns activity and feeds it into a unsupervised learning algorithm for analyzation. At the same time the algorithm, that is based on the principle of a helmholz machine, “hallucinates” variations of the previously analyzed signal. These variations are translated into a two dimensional matrix that physically transforms a thin mirror sheet by 48 muscle wire actors. A thin laser line is directed on the mirror surface in a sharp angle to generate a depth landscape like projection on the wall.

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