The panel entitled "The Marriage of Fire and Water I: Optics" from the Goethe-Institut's panel exhibition Synthetic Vision: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Poet and Scientist* states:
Goethe studied the eye as a physiological organ of perception, and finally as a bridge between the human spirit and the divine outer world of nature, an organ formed by the need for these two worlds to unite.
This prism study is composed of two concentric prisms. The outer prism represents the lens of the eye which belongs to water's domain. The lens gathers and focuses radiation represented by the inner red prism. As with the previous study, again we have a union of fire and water, but now water girdles and fire is on the inside.
This sculpture also evokes Dionysian and pagan images and brings to mind the Dance of the Young Girls from Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and the circle dances from Mark Morris's 1994 choreography of Bach's Third Cello Suite, Falling Down Stairs.
I completed assembly of this study on February 4, 2004. For assembly information, see the datasheet.
This design and structure are dedicated to the memory of Beeke Sell Tower.