Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Kirsten Berg.

Compound Eye /I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Kirsten Berg.

Burning Man 2015. Artist and designer Kirsten Berg presents Compound Eye /I a totemic installation featuring multifaceted mirrored orbs that stare back at those who look into them. The sculpture reflects the viewers’ innerself with its many eyes like a giant insect.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Tray Ratcliff.

Compound Eye /I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Tray Ratcliff.


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"The Arbour" temporary cathedral by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2015 - Courtesy of Josh Haywood.

“The Arbour” temporary cathedral by Josh Haywood, Burning Man 2015 – Courtesy of Josh Haywood.


Compound Eye/I is composed of mirrored spheres surfaced with hundreds o lens-like convex mirrors. The orbs are stack one on top of the other referencing the compound eyes of insects. The installation resembles a Buddha head or Mandelbrot fractal.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Lupiote.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Philipe Glade.

Kirsten Berg says “As we circle around it, reflected lights follow our movement… as if we are being watched. Looking into the shifting centers of the glistening lenses, we meet our own gaze. As we realize it is the act of sight and engagement of our own form that animates these pupils, our sense of separate-ness from the art is challenged”.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Jim Hammer.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Jim Hammer.

Are we, the detached observer, watching from behind the seemingly impermeable membrane of our own eye?  Are we being watched by the seemingly animate Compound I?

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Kirsten Berg.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Kirsten Berg.

The eye as an instrument of reflection merges with the ‘I’ as an object of reflection. Boundaries blur between perspectives of inner and outer, personal and collective. The result is a picture of interconnected reflections “with us as facets of a greater, compound, “I” or eye” – comments the artist.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg - Photo by Kirsten Berg.

Compound Eye/I by Kirsten Berg – Photo by Kirsten Berg.

Kirsten Berg lives in Southeast Asia most of the year, and the inspiration for “Compound Eye/I” was a fusion of her personal and aesthetic interests: the nodes on Buddha heads, the tapering spires of stupas, the interconnected jewels on the mythological Indra’s net in Buddhist sutras and the compound lenses that comprise the eyes of insects.