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A Mesmerizing Tunnel Of Glass And Light Is Like Something From An Alien Ship

In the San Francisco Museum of Art, there”s a tunnel made of glass. (But it”s not just ANY tunnel.) Walking through it is somewhat like being inside a kaleidoscope, with shards of color sparkling all around you.

(via My Modern Met)

However, if you look back, you might find that the color has suddenly vanished, leaving you in a suddenly much-more ominous all-black tunnel. The jewel-like facets now take on an alien look in slick black. Where are you?

The One Way Color Tunnel is a 2007 installation piece by Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, who works with color, spectrums, and glass. The tunnel is created using one-way glass that shows a vibrant variety of colors when viewed from one side, but only black when viewed from the other. When walking through it, viewers are treated to a strange, but actually very simply executed, sensory experience that explores perception and perspective.

The glass is treated with color-effect acrylics, which means that when viewed from a particular angle, a rainbow of color is visible. When viewed from the other side, though, they only appear black.

The tunnel as viewed from the outside. If you look towards the left side, you can see the effect of the masking material from the exterior, which produces a white appearance instead of a black one.

You can see more of Eliasson”s work on his website. He”s known not only for exploring color and sight, but also for incorporating interactive elements into his installations, including scent, temperature, and light. He describes the tunnel as “intentionally simple in construction but thrilling to behold, sparking profound, visceral reactions designed to heighten one”s experience of the everyday.”