Arrested movement

Author: Matthew Trbuhović

Arrested Movement

Matthew Trbuhović
22 April 2021

Trbuhović, M. (2021). Arrested movement. (A dissertation in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at the Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand) 


Arrested Movement is an exploration of perception and the effect of optical vibration produced by abstract photo-constructions. The mechanism is a three-dimensional assemblage of similar but variable photographic strips that are sequenced and mounted in order to create ambiguities with the viewer’s depth perception. There is an interplay between focus and blur, and the seemingly regular strips vibrate due to minor fluctuations in their linearity. The project concerns the devolution of representational imagery to a pattern state, enabling it to operate as a device for capturing and engaging the viewer in a sensory dialogue that unfolds and intensifies over time.

A survey of the 1960s Op art movement and its origins provided context within the field historically, and led to a study of the contemporary Op art revival in New Zealand.

This was followed by an overview of the fundamentals of vision and perception, which brought an understanding of how the photo-constructions were operating and which optical devices were responsible for the effects generated. In contrast to 1960s Op
art, which can appear unemotional and typically maintains a strong sense of control during the compositional stage, intuition and a relaxed design process remained in place throughout the project. This was balanced with a necessary degree of control and precise application during the construction phase to enable the works to resonate effectively. The work involved multiple stages, and combines analogue and digital techniques with translations through different media. Deliberately void of readable subject matter and for the most part colour, the work can be seen to demonstrate the material energy that exists within the mundane image. The potential of the glitch is investigated and applied, both as a device for linear disruption, and as a catalyst for the creation of multiple artworks in series.

Keywords: optical art, op art, post-photography

Matthew Trbuhović's supervisors were Edward Hanfling (written component), Scott Eady and David Green (practical component).


This abstract is available under a Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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