[FISEA’93] Jurgen Claus – Mirrors of the Sun



Towards Solar Art – Some Examples – More to follow – (see PDF document) Paul Hoenich, born 1907, is a true pioneer in Sun Painting through the use of different reflecting materials. He emigrated to Palestine in 1935. In 1950 he became Professor for experimental art at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He developed a type of kinetic art with direct use of sunlight from the end of the fifties on. I suppose he was the first or at least one of the very first to coin the term Robot Art at the beginning of the sixties. The Robot Picture, which he developed from 1956 on, is a moving and changing sunlight projection system which repeats itself in a yearly circle. The robot projection, as he says, ?makes use of the sun as a fixed lamp and of the planet Earth as a motor moving not a strip of film but rows of reflectors? 1. The composition depends on the shapes and colours of the reflectors. Colour filters are added to the reflectors to change and determine the projected colours. The artist can predetermine a year’s programme in setting up a whole row of reflectors, which will be effective differently during the year. Besides the Robot Picture Hoenich has created the Robot Painter. Here the individual pictures cannot be foreseen. Besides using sun rays and the Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun, an additional energy source is needed to produce irregural moving pictures. Before turning to more recent solar art works, I may recall Walter Gropius’ statement from 1963, in a letter to Hoenich: ‘I am convinced’, wrote the founder of the Bauhaus, ‘that this is a field of research for the future and will become a true instrument of a new art’.