Multimedia artist Jeff Frost's Flawed Symmetry of Prediction isn't your average time-lapse study of the Milky Way. Frost paints massive geometric shapes on walls so that they function as optical illusions, blurring the line between 2D and 3D when captured on video.
The experimental piece unfolds to reveal a haunting, post-apocalyptic world where flickering wildfires and industrial plants illuminate desert vistas. Frost's sci-fi vibe is inspired in part by actual science -- one painting draws on a NASA diagram of evidence for the Big Bang and the soundtrack uses clips recorded by Voyager 1. Be sure to watch it full screen in HD to appreciate the crisp visual detail.
The artist describes his creative process in detail in a 90-page ebook, available for free here, including battles with bees and cranky neighbors while he painted the Big Bang-inspired piece:
The painting I was working on was a massive optical illusion. It covered a third of the room, including the ceiling, and consisted of 154 squares, which had been painted on a three-dimensional surface, but appeared to the camera as flat. It was an abstraction of a NASA diagram which predicted the single greatest piece of evidence we have for the Big Bang: cosmic background radiation. I loved that the prediction diagram was so neat and symmetrical, and the diagram of the actual evidence was so chaotic and messy. It was a successful theory with measurable evidence in nature, but it made me think that even when humans are right, we’re still kind of wrong. I couldn’t deny that I was personally attracted to the more symmetrical image, which is why I chose to paint it. Like most people I tend to breathe a sigh of relief when things are easy to understand and interpret, even if unconsciously. It struck me as both amazingly wondrous, holy shit, the big bang is real!, and slightly comical look how perfect we thought it would be.
You can view more still images from the project on the artist's site.
For more work by Jeff Frost, visit http://www.jeff-frost.com/.
This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.