In the arid landscape of Joshua Tree, California, American artist Phillip K Smith III created ‘Lucid Stead’, an installation that creates the illusion that you can see through this building.
With some mirrors, LED lights, custom built electronic equipment, and Arduino programming, Smith transformed a 70-year-old homesteader shack into an architecture piece that complements and contrasts with its beautiful environment throughout the entire day.
With Lucid Stead, the movement of the sun reflects banded reflections of light across the desert landscape, while various cracks and openings reveal themselves within the structure. Even the shifting shadow of the entire structure on the desert floor is as present as the massing of the shack itself, within the raw canvas of the desert.
The door and windows of the building are also infilled with mirrors, but after dark they transform into brightly coloured rectangles that subtly change hue, thanks to a system of LED lighting and an Arduino computer system.
“The colour of the door and window openings are set at a pace of change where one might question whether they are actually changing colours,” said Smith.
“One might see blue, red, and yellow… and continue to see those colours. But looking down and walking ten feet to a new location reveals that the windows are now orange, purple and green,” he added.
main image © Steve King