Take a kaleidoscope photograph wrote William H. Fox Talbot, one of the inventors of photography, on 18 February 1839, remembering the toy after he had taken some pictures of shells and leaves. That toy, like any other toy, is not devoid of layers of meaning.
With a kaleidoscope, the meaning is hidden in the infinite reflection of the Sameness between the mirrors. Yet the Sameness is ever changing, at the slightest accidental or deliberate movement. It all happens in a dark tube with milky glass at the other end.
The key components of this toy are mirrors arranged in succession and bits of coloured glass, porcelain, or paper. What we in fact see are the same bits in a changing spatial pattern depending on motion and moment. The harmony is achieved by the repetition of those patterns and by varying reflections of reflections of reflections – a true challenge for the sophisticated layering of reality, as Plato saw it.