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[VIDEO] The Real Life Escherian Staircase at the Rochester Institute of Technology

Escher-Staircase

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 – 1972), known as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

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The Stairwell Project: Building a Modern Myth

What’s the project?

The most powerful aspects of myths are their ability to incite wonder and excitement. We’re creating a myth that does these things while also challenging audiences to think.

The myth is that located in Rochester, NY, is the Escherian Stairwell, an architectural marvel that seems to violate the laws of physics and basic logic by looping back into itself. In order to lend credence to this myth, we’re creating an episode for a family-friendly science show that demonstrates the staircase in action, various clips from a 1997 documentary with prominent thinkers grappling with the existence of this apparent contradiction and pontificating on its implications, and a whole slew of supplemental online materials for today’s internet savvy audience to stumble across while trying to see if this thing is real (websites, scholarly articles, fan-pages, blogs, etc.). Help us build the myth! 

Why create a myth?

Well, the short answer is that myths are awesome. Especially when done right. The slightly longer answer is that we are passionate about immersing audiences with a sense of wonder and surrounding them with a wealth of detail executed with such rigorous realism that they can choose to step into it, get lost in it, and believe in it. Films like Close Encounters and 2001inspired us with awe, and even a hint of fear, when we first saw them. How do we capture that feeling again? The internet and the age of social media seem to be opening up doors to reinvent the medium and reignite those in-theater experiences that have gotten stale over the decades.

How will you launch the myth? 

From the very beginning, we visualized this myth as a great tie-in with the Rochester Institute of Technology’s annual Innovation & Creativity Festival, aka Imagine RIT. Since it’s become a cultural event in Rochester, with 35,000 people expected to attend this year, the festival and the build-up surrounding it appear to be a perfect launching pad for the project. 

(source of blue text)

click to view video explanation: http://kck.st/102xURv

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One response

  1. This is crazy but kool stuff.

    May 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

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