Over the course of the past few years, I have become fascinated with philosophy related to our perception of reality. When we are confronted with a phenomena that challenges our visual-cognitive mechanisms, it often calls attention to the discrepancy between the external world and our ‘phaneron’ (reality as filtered through our senses).
Although glass has always been my primary medium, this inquiry has lead me to work with glass in new ways – to control and distort light in an attempt to create new kinds of visual experiences. Since everything we see is constructed from light, light is undoubtedly the most effective tool in manipulating perception, and glass is one of the best tools to manipulate light.
Through research and rigorous experimentation, I have discovered a number of light phenomena that evoke truly unique experiences which often feel as if they are virtual or augmented reality. Most of these phenomena are dependent on specific elements exclusive to human vision, and therefore must be seen in person in order to experience them.Evan Voelbel, 2020
Evan Voelbel received his BFA in 3D/Glass from Massachusetts College of Art in 2010. Following his undergraduate education, Evan worked as a teaching assistant at Massart, as a studio assistant for glass artists local to Massachusetts and also as a gaffer and teacher at a number of glass studios in the Boston area. After receiving his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2017, he began working there as adjunct faculty, teaching classes in glass. His current work is informed by research in a variety of subjects including physics, chemistry, perceptual psychology, optics, and alchemy. Voelbel’s work often combines glass, light and mixed media to construct visual phenomena, sculptural objects, and installations which straddle the line between physical and immaterial, digital and analogue, real and false, in an attempt to provoke a broader conversation about the subjectivity of perception.