Improbable Refractions Synthetic Skies (2024)

Lukas Truniger in collaboration with Bruce Yoder

The piece seeks to recreate transience found in nature and to play with its perception. It is an attempt to synthesize/mimic one of nature’s most stunning marvels outside its expected context: rainbows and other similar optical phenomena occurring in the atmosphere, such as halos and coronas.

The project raises various questions regarding how we interact with our environment, as well as on our underlying desire to imitate and eventually control nature. By meticulous synthesis of these phenomena through synthetic and technological means, the installation shines light onto the delicate balances required to produce such marvels. Though this endeavor appears destined to fail, it disentangles the inner workings of our world, creating an experience that allows direct interaction with the physical conditions and constraints of our reality.

Synthetic rainbows will be generated within an installative environment utilizing tactical military-grade torches, alongside water misters and fog. A digital control and monitoring system renders these phenomena malleable; their positions, shapes, and arrangements will be manipulated, allowing for new configurations such as lines and circles.

Designed as a circular system, the installation can be solar-powered, accumulating energy during the daytime in order to produce nocturnal ‘rainbows’, through artificial ‘suns’. Our goal is to create an experience of deep respect for nature by simulating these phenomena in unexpected circumstances, which holds great potential for a transformative experience for the audience.