The Visual Artistic Aspect of Moire Effect

Although Moire effect is produced by overlapping two pattern, it can be achieved in many forms more than just overlapping two flat images simply. Here are some example of artists’ previous work, which using Moire effect.

1.Kinetic sculpture

Nautilus Kinetic Sculpture by David C. Roy 1

David C. Roy spent 40 years to design Kinetic sculpture. His sculptures are based on the Moire effect and engineering theory, by continual motion achieving different visual patterns. His work also have narrative theme, the shapes of Moire pattern often present some realistic objects or metaphysics meanings.

2.Installation art


Stiliana Alexeva is obsessed with Moire pattern. She absorbs the notion of change and the thrill of a balance between permanence and impermanence of shape and form. So in her work, she tries to finding a calm resolution by morphing an object to exhaustion and destruction.[1] She warps some wasted wire and installs them on an parallel pattern. As a result of her trial, people walk around her work will experience mutative Moire effects.

3.Space and projected light

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Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, using projectors and sculptures to create a interactive environment called Uncertain Museum.  It is a circular, translucent room that invites visitors to step inside and cast patterns of projected light and shadows from hanging, mirrored discs. Outside the installation, visitors can watch silhouettes of people moving about inside.[2] He want to illustrate a conception of “seeing yourself sensing”, to encourage people understanding the physical world.

4.Moire Paintings


Milan-based designer Andrea Minini cently drew a series of animals images with moiré patterns, creating an unusual intersection between natural forms and mathematics. By using Moire pattern audiences can easily track the motion of the animals.

So as a conclusion, I think we can combine different forms of Moire art to finish our project, maybe an interactive installation which encourage people to feel the relationship between visual illusion and space is a good choice.


[1]Stiliana Alexeva. 2014. Moire Study.


Moire Pattern: A Mysterious Pattern Fringes to Create Visual Illusion

The video —Amazing Animated Optical Illusions! #7 is a great example to illustrate paradox and illusion. 

Firstly, it utilises a visual illusion phenomenon — Moire pattern. Moire pattern usually be analysed by metrology and optics. When superposing an identical grating figure onto another pattern which consist of parallel equispaced lines with specific angle and frequency, our eyes can not distinguish them respectively. Just like the video when the grating fringes move across the meaningless pattern, we can not differentiate these two pattern, then some new interference pattern like gear or balls will appear.

Secondly, it deduces two visual paradoxs:1.using 2 dimensions patterns to show 3 dimensions objects; 2. using two stable and uncorrelated pattern to display an animation. Although in common sense, if we want to display a motion process,we need to collect  a series of pictures which record every second of the motion, just like how film works.

Related to our project we can use the Moire pattern theory to create our own pattern. On the one hand, we can change the intermediary. In traditional method, the grating patterns are drawn on paper, so we can use projector to project the pattern on the surface of a wall or a sculpture. Moreover, we can try to use not only black and white but also variety of colours to create our Moire pattern. Especially when considering mixing different colour lights will produce new colour, for example combining red light and green light will generate yellow light. This character will give Moire pattern more variations. Then, we can also try to explore the relationship between specific geometric and Moire pattern. For instance, a ellipse which is made up by parallel lines, when we put and grating pattern on it, we can see a square. So how about a pentagon or hexagon?Finally, combine Moire pattern with some sound design work is also a new point.


1.The definition of Moire

2.G Oster, M Wasserman, C Zwerling, 1964, Theoretical Interpretation of Moire Patterns, JOSA, Vol. 54, Issue 2, pp. 169-175