“Stripped back to its essentials, optical fibre is a thin strand of glass, with nothing more than a flickering beam of light traveling along it. United Visual Artists have used this beam as the starting point for the work.”
A three-axis gimbal rig simulates the tumbles encountered during a space mission.
“Three tubular aluminum cages could revolve separately or in combination to give roll, pitch, and yaw motions at speeds, up to 30 rpm, greater than those expected in actual spaceflight. Nitrogen-gas jets, attached to the three cages, controlled the motion. At the center of the innermost cage, the pilot was strapped into a plastic seat, similar to that in a Mercury capsule. His head, body, and legs were held in place, leaving only his arms free. The pilot actuated the jets by means of a right-hand control column. Communication was by radio which was operated by a button atop the left-hand column. Complex tumbling motions were started by the operator at the control station and control then switched to the pilot. By reading instruments mounted at eye level before him, the pilot interpreted his motions and made corrections accordingly.”
Untitled from The Secret World of Frank Stella. Hollis Frampton, 1958.
1975: Ndebele chief Mtonzima Gwebu wears traditional dress in his modern home in Zimbabwe.