The Falls

Colleen Woolpert's avatar Colleen Woolpert

The Falls is a dimensional video installation that recreates the hypnotic experience of observing phenomena. In the corner of a dim gallery, an 8 1/2ft-high video projection depicts a waterfall cascading down to the floor. After several seconds the image freezes and, due to an optical illusion called motion aftereffect, seems to ascend. This sequence of motion and stasis (pseudo-motion) repeats indefinitely; prolonged viewing invites new visual discoveries and increases illusory effects. For dimensional and ethereal connotations, the video is projected onto chiffon suspended across the corner, the wall behind it lined with black velvet. Footage was captured by the artist at Snoqualmie Falls (WA), after which she had her first experience of motion aftereffect when she "saw" the nearby ground rising. The Falls offers viewers a visually-rich meditation on the sublime that is at once redundant and variable, cerebral and visceral, beguiling and disquieting. (video below)

Entry Details
  • Art form: Time-Based
  • Depth: > 3.5 ft
  • Medium: Video (silent, looped), high-resolution projector, chiffon, velvet
  • Width: > 5 ft
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 8.5 ft