The Best Mirror Illusions in the World
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Nov 2, 2012

The Best Mirror Illusions in the World

We have often heard the saying, ‘seeing is believing’, which means truth is mostly, if not totally, visual. Or at least that is what the saying wants us to understand. But is it? While the eyes are probably our best in the matter of the five senses, this sense of sight may also be hoodwinked into accepting what it sees as true when it is not. Such is what illusions can do.
One of the best ways of presenting illusions is the mirror method, where either mirrors are used to produce the illusion, or the illusion is shown as a mirror image of the object. If used in art, the latter would be catoptric anamorphosis, which can mean presentation of the object as a mirror image in layman’s terms. If you have looked at a lake or calm sea that reflected the treeline and mountains in your line of view, you have a form of mirror illusion.
Below are some of the best mirror illusions today.
The Infinity Room. Created by artist Serge Salat, the room uses mirror panels and cube shapes to project space in infinity
. Each image is reflected by mirrors placed so there is an illusion of endless expanses, and the object or viewer is always in the middle and viewed or seen from various angles. The person in the Infinity Room feels he is in the midst of space in all directions, floating yet on solid surface, in a factual but out-of-sync reality.

Salat’s Infinity Room must not be confused with another exhibit of the same general name, this time by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kushama, whose work was shown at the Tate Modern, London. His exhibit is officially titled Aftermath of the Obliteration of Eternity, and consists of a room of mirrors and lantern lights, and floor with water.  The light is reflected off the mirrors and floor to give the illusion of endless space.
Infinity Mirror Room
Kushama's Infinity Mirror Room (Photo credit: ®DS)
Another Infinity Room is by Doug Wheeler, shown at the David Zwirner’s Chelsea Gallery, but this one does not use mirrors to generate the feeling of being in an empty space. It utilizes light and painted walls.

The True Mirror. A mirror image is often seen as the opposite of the original, that is, the reflective image. Thus if you place your left hand in front of a mirror, what you will see is apparently the right hand, the image as reflected by the mirror. In the True Mirror illusion, what you will see if you make the above mentioned experiment is still your left hand.
The illusion is achieved by placing two mirrors at right angles with each other and eliminating the seam. This is a quite simple concept, but with amazing effect patented in 1887 by its founder John Walter.
The above are two extant examples of what mirror illusions are and can do. The first expands the mental perception while the other presents the truth as viewed by others. But either  ---or maybe both?--- can propose that truth is actually illusory. Don’t you agree?


Guest Author: This was a guest post by Chris from mirrorfit- a London based retailer of made to measure and cut to size mirrors.