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Pasadena Artist Ken Salter’s ‘Reflecting Pool’ to Make Los Angeles Debut

Published on Friday, June 29, 2018 | 5:53 am

Pasadena artist Ken Salter will show his neo-psychedelic video sculpture, “Reflecting Pool,” on Friday, July 6, 7 p.m., at The Vast Lab at 5151 Whitsett Avenue in Valley Village, Los Angeles.

Salter’s work will be part of a group show titled “Declaration,” open Friday nights through July 27. This is the first showing in Los Angeles of the sculpture which debuted in December at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

“‘Reflecting Pool’ generates mesmerizing fractal images that overwhelm the viewer’s senses,” Salter said in a press release. “The sculpture demonstrates emergence, a universal phenomenon where simple rules, applied repeatedly, generate complex and beautiful patterns that captivate and hypnotize.”

Using video feedback, “Reflecting Pool” employs a camera that continuously photographs a screen displaying multiple copies of its own stream arranged as a mosaic. Like a digital kaleidoscope, the geometry of the mosaic is controlled by hand gestures from the viewer. The result is an ever-changing nested pattern of mosaics within mosaics producing astoundingly complex images.

The presentation is framed by infinity mirrors and “color-sensitive low-frequency sounds” to saturate the viewer’s perceptions, Salter said.

Born in Los Angeles, Salter has been at the frontier of entertainment technology and art for over 25 years. With engineering degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA, Salter worked for Disney Imagineering developing new technologies for theme park rides. He has numerous patents on ride and entertainment technology. He co-owns a company which manufactures large sculptures, using digital techniques, for some of the world’s most successful artists.

Salter’s interest in fractals and emergence originated in 2000 after he read several books on chaos and complexity science.

Salter was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008 at the age of 46. One of the benefits of this disease is that changes in brain chemistry enhance creativity and awaken artistic abilities. In 2013, Salter showed his first piece, “Chaotic Fractal Generator,” at San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

Salter views reality from a systems perspective and is skeptical of faith. The concept of emergence reinforces his worldview that intricate systems that appear to be designed need no creator. He is particularly interested in the nature of consciousness as an emergent phenomenon.

To learn more about Salter’s work, visit

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