LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
Born and educated in Zurich, Switzerland. From 1969 to 2009 I spent my professional life in academia: Studying Geology in Zurich (1969-73); Post-doc at Columbia University, NY (1973-76); Assistant to Full Professor University of California, San Diego (1976-85): Professor at ETH and University Zurich (1985-2009). My focus in teaching and research as a micropaleontologist was on the history of the global marine environment over various time scales as documented in marine sediments. As a professional scientist I spent my life working at the limits of available knowledge and trying to transgress it. An involvement in such activities tens to leave its traces.
For the past ten years I have applied my creativity in various art projects. I focus on innovation in technique, aspects of surprise and on attractive form. I started out with installations, such as partially covered mirrors reflecting wandering symbols or words onto a wall or onto a church steeple. Using this principle I developed a new type of solar clock. I covered mirrors, leaving out hourly numbers. These mirrors were placed in a half circle such in such a way that the numbers were reflected onto a wall, on which they move slowly from right to left, while the sun moves from east to west. Each hourly number crosses a central vertical time-line at the actual full hour. The next project was a delicate a cube hovering in the air. My latest project is the quatroscope, which is a square tunnel of elongated mirrors that are joined at their long sides, similar to a kaleidoscope, but with four rather than three mirrors inside. The effect is, that an object placed at one end of the tunnel, when observed from the other end, is reflected repeatedly in four directions. Reproducing this feature digitally on a computer, leads to the emergence of totally unexpected and beautiful patterns. With these digital graphs (quatroscopies) I have made progress along two lines. One is the transition from three- (my previous installations) to two-dimensional art (my quatroscopies). In addition I have discovered an innovative way to have a "second look" at any single image.
All these projects are documented (in German) at www.hansthierstein.ch.
WHO I AM
A tinkerer playing at the fringes of the known to the unknown.
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