by Andrew Page
Tech prognosticators have deemed 2016 the year that virtual reality hits the mainstream. To artists exploring the unique optical properties of glass, immersive environments are nothing new. To remind the world of the rich terrain already mined by a wide range of artists, we present this issue’s cover article by GLASS contributing editor William Ganis, who surveyed the richly populated landscape of installations, architecture, and sculpture employing repeat reflectivity, partially mirrored glass surfaces, and the perceptual shifts that can be achieved using glass to alter our relationship to space and our place in it. Discussing Lucas Samaras’ 1966 Mirrored Room, the complexly layered optical environments of Dan Graham and Larry Bell, and Thilo Frank’s cultivated confusion of reflective overload, Ganis leads on a journey that he traces all the way back to the visual intensity of gold mosaics of the Byzantine era. It’s a reminder of the universal aspect even in such a revolutionary technological leap.