The invisible skyscraper or the photograph that isn’t and never will be

Here’s a paradox for you.  Can you take a photograph of something that’s invisible?  Sound like a rhetorical question?  Well maybe not.

The government of South Korea has approved a design for a skyscraper which has been described as “invisible”.  No, this is not the latest illusion by magician David Copperfield, who vanished the Statue of Liberty, and the building will not actually be transparent. Rather, the building is designed to reflect its surrounding area with a complex system of glass, LED lights and cameras. ‘Tower Infinity’ will project real-time images of its background onto its own surface. Three sections each with 500 rows of LED screens will – at full power – appear to merge the skyscraper into the horizon.  Designed by U.S.-based GDS Architects, the glass-encased Tower Infinity will top out at 450 meters (1,476 feet) and have the third highest observation deck in the world. Here is an artist’s conception of what the building will look like as the invisibility, aka “Romulan cloaking shield,” is turned on.

Us physics types really love paradoxes, and we have many to choose from, for instance “the twin paradox” from relativity theory, the “grandfather paradox” from (I don’t know time theory(?), and, of course “Schrödinger’s Cat,” from quantum theory.  But finally, we have something that the average everyday photographer will be able to point his lens at, or maybe not.

“A paradox!

A most ingenious paradox!

We’ve quips and quibbles heard in flocks,

But none to beat this paradox!”

Gilbert and Sullivan, “The Pirates of Penzance


This entry was posted in Reviews and Critiques.