Gustav Metzger \ Liquid Crystal Environments
Gustav Metzger's Liquid Crystal Environments are a series of projected installations made using heat-sensitive liquid crystals that are placed between glass slides and inserted into projectors. Over the course of the installation, the slides are constantly rotating to generate the movement of the liquid. As the crystals are heated and cooled their colours are altered to created a kaleidoscopic effect. The slides are rotated to create movement within the liquid, and as the crystals are heated and cooled they change colour. The slides that are then simultaneously projected onto the screens surrounding the gallery space are then all under the control of a computer program. What interests me the most about Metzger's work is the algae like patterns that the crystals create, almost as if his ever-changing works were being consumed by mould.
A lot of Metzger's work came under the category of what he called ‘auto-destructive art’, where art works are made using machine-manufactured substances that would automatically degrade other the course of the installation. Metzger became preoccupied with growth as opposed to degradation, these new works seeking to harness technology, to engineer processes of positive change. . Although technology is central to Liquid Crystal Environment it is used creatively to form the crystal patterns and to construct the colourful, psychedelic, immersive space of the installation.