Vanishing Sliced Steel
Using science and art, Julian Voss-Andreae creates incredible sculptures that can vanish right in front of our very eyes. Made up of a series of layered steel sheets, the sculpture forms a human image at a certain angle but then disappears at others. He calls this particular 8-foot high work of art Quantum Man.
“When approached from the front or back, the sculpture seems to consist of solid steel, but when seen from
the side it visually disappears almost completely,” he says. “This fascinating effect offers a range of possible interpretations. In the context of quantum physics–inspired art it is natural to see Quantum Man as a metaphor for the wave-particle duality, the phenomenon that all matter exhibits wave-like or particle-like properties depending on the experimental question we ask.”
As in his Quantum Man (pp. 119-20), Julian Voss-Andreae explores ambiguities in quantum physics and how they manifest themselves dramatically in our daily world. The appearance of objects depends on how we view them. Quantum Man focussed on the mind-boggling wave/particle duality according to which an electron can be a wave and particle at the same time. This is beyond our senses, this is unimaginable and so unimageable. How we “look” at the electron, that is what experiment we use, that is what it is, either a wave or a particle.
In 2014 Voss-Andreae produced Spannungsfeld, a huge work consisting of two tall 10 foot tall figures kneeling and facing each other. Each is made up of a large number of vertical, parallel evenly spaced steel slices. As with Quantum Man, from certain perspectives the two figures almost disappear. But here he goes beyond Quantum Man with its single object to a male and a female, a set of dualities, suggesting positive and negative charge, love and hate. Like yin and yang they cannot exist without each other and together make up a whole. They are complementary. Spannungsfeld is a meditation on Eastern religion, which parallels abstruse concepts in physics.