chas curtis | faq

frequently asked questions


Why did you decide to make your own optics?

I’ve been fascinated by the mathematics behind optics and the propagation of light since I was an undergraduate.  In order to project the images the way I wanted required a 4 lens system instead of the typical 3 lenses in a modern projector. I felt the assembly was so beautiful that I left it uncovered.

What were some of the other things you had to consider besides optics?

Heat is always an issue when working with light.  In last few years, LED technology has progressed to produce enough light without the need for a cooling fan.  However all my sculptures are made from Aluminum which is used as a heat sink to keep the LEDs cool.  Because they require less power it also allows me to balance them on mobile sculptures.

Is the projector itself the only hurdle?

The projector needs a surface to shed light on so I’m working on new coatings with micro glass beads to create a rear-projection surface only in the spot where I want the image to be.

What is next?

I’m fascinated with the characteristics of the lens itself when it is turned askew, and not used as it was originally intended.  This image is on the main page of my website.  I’m combining lenses in different configurations to sculpt the light beam in ways that create beautiful fields of clear and diffracted light.