Physical Digital Residency – Wimbledon College of Arts

Last week I was invited by Jennet Thomas to do a 5-week residency at the Print and Time-Based Media Studio, I am really excited about this opportunity as it will be a first for me.

This will be a great opportunity to test some ideas and especially, to keep developing my collaborative skills, I really like the idea of working with BA students and learning to work with them on a project that might lead to an exhibition.

This is an image of the studio I will be placed on.

And this is the poster I am using to promote the Residency.

I also plan to create at least one post for every day I spend at Wimbledon College.

 

British Museum – looking for META-IMAGES

Last month I visited the British Museum for the first time, my goal was to find pieces that could be linked to my concept of the META-IMAGE, I saw images on top and inside of Sarcophagus, covering Greek pottery, various sculptures and a box to collect money from people attending a religious ceremony.

My reflection

Images seem to be a quite important part of these objects, however, I was surprised to conclude that in most cases the image followed the function, a function that goes beyond artistic expression. This made realise that my work is quite different as the image is the one that actually dictates the shape of the object.

Interpolating images – Connecting realism by abstraction

Today I was thinking about a question that has been bouncing inside of my head for quite a while; how to connect abstract with realistic painting?

I recall that around 2012, I had the intention to make an abstract painting from one I was already making, I do not remember which was it but I remember the idea and how interesting and silly it seemed, anyway, I did not through with it.

At the beginning of this year, while I was working on the piece “portrait of my wife”, I experienced a Deja Vu while I was trying to connect two different parts of the meta-image. I realised that somehow I was painting abstract as I was not trying to represent something specific but rather using the brush to connect different areas of the piece while allowing my unconscious mind to dictate the next move.

After this experience, I wanted to push things a bit further so I started working more challenging painting/sculpture. This was a fascinating experience as I was able to let myself go a lot more than before.

My reflection:

I believe that this has helped me to understand that instead of connecting several images I am reacting to them in a pictorial way, this means that something new is emerging from this process, something that is not a direct depiction of something but rather a subconscious reaction to the images.

 

The last image – why bother?

On January, I submitted one piece for a competition, it is called “Portrait of my Wife”, at that moment I struggled with the images as I felt that they were no good, this was partially due to that in the past, I took pictures of flat paintings and now I have to learn how to properly take photos of a 3D object.

Days later I was informed that my submission was not successful, so,  After shaking the bad mood, I went back to take a look at the materials I sent, specially the images.

I guess that, because I haven’t seen them in a while, I was able to spot important flaws in the images I submitted, to make it simple, I would say that if somebody does not know my work, he/she will have a lot of trouble to read what my work is about from dose images. This was a breakthrough.

Since that moment I understood that I needed to pay lots of attention to the way I was trying to present my work, specially if they do not know me or my work and if neither my work or me are present for the introductions.

This is why, last week I spend quite a good amount of time on my uni studio, trying to take a good pictures of my latest piece, pictures that might work together to give others enough information to make a decision.

I have to say that it was quite a challenge as I was trying to present both a painting/sculpture and a video.

My reflection:

I have to say that this exercise has raised many questions in my mind regarding the way I document my work, the amount of time I dedicate to this activity and most importantly; am I successful on it?

I must say that I feel challenged, not only by the fact that now I have to document 3D pieces but also that they might exist both physically and digitally.

3D Liquid light – Subverting Black and White Photography

I have to say that It has been more than 3 years since I wanted to do this exploration.

I believe that it was around 2013 when I started wondering about how to project and fix an image onto a 3D surface. At that moment I was doing a lot of screen printing and also was exploring projection mapping.

It wasn’t until this year’s low-residency, that I had the opportunity to go back inside of a dark room (my last time was around 1993). this is how I met John, he is a great technician from Camberwell and he helped me to do quite a lot of photographic weirdly shaped pieces of photographic papers.

This experience encouraged me to take things further, and John was kind enough to introduce me to Hayde, she is an expert on liquid emulsion, and after a few weeks she was able to help me do pretty interesting experiments over a couple of sculptures.

In her words “this was a very successful attempt”, basically because I was able to keep the emulsion on the surface and also because I was able to reproduce bits of images.

This has encouraged me to keep pushing things forward, my plan is to spend most of the following week, devoted to create my first photographic meta-image.

The social market and the consumer society

Since the beginning of this year, I started thinking about social media and how one interacts with other people through this digital platforms, at one point I realised that it is possible to compare the dynamics of these interactions with the ones occurring inside of a marketplace where content becomes the main commodity supporting all transactions.

These transactions work a quite differently from the traditional exchange of goods and services between buyers and sellers; people offer content in exchange for likes, comments and content sharing. Of course, there is a commercial dimension to this, but I rather focus on the social interaction.

It is possible to think that this social market is actually a visible feature of the consumer society, a society completely permeated by the market values.

In this talk, Michael Sandel is talking about the role of money in our society and the effects it has on interactions and even on the “commodities” it buys.

Although my focus is on social exchange, I think there are a lot of interesting things about money and power and I really feel that in order to be able to depict present times, I have to deepen my research on this topic.

Again, although my focus is not on money, it is unavoidable to think about Exploitation and Degradation as pretty important facts that affect a huge chunk of the population.

My Reflection

I understand that my intention to depict reality has to embrace both global and local views, I am aware that my visual language has to evolve in a way that is able to zoom in and out from both conflicting and unrelated facts of existence and I guess, that my next course of action, should be to create a diagram or a map about this reality.

My artist statement – 13-03-2017

I am obsessed with the idea of depicting visual reality in a way that comes closer to how I truly experience it.

I ask myself if visual reality evolves through time and space, why should the image of that reality remain still and flat?

I feel that the depicting potential of the image is undermined by the restrictions imposed by the flat canvas and geometric perspective systems.

I WANT TO SET THE IMAGE FREE TO ACHIEVE ITS FULL DEPICTIVE POTENTIAL

Since I started using digital technologies like 3D modelling software, and Virtual Reality, I realised that, inside these environments, the image becomes malleable matter, a new material full of visual ingredients.

I give shape to this malleable element by exploring the architecture of spatial metaphors e.g. the tunnel, the cave, and the landscape. The end result is a 3-dimensional piece full of visual information. I call it THE META-IMAGE.

Sometimes I leave the META-IMAGE as it is, other times I materialize it through 3D printing and/or sculpture and finish it using traditional media i.e. painting, drawing, and black & white photography.

At the moment, I am also using photogrammetry to build 3D models of the final piece, and then navigate them through Virtual Reality.

Photogrammetry 2.0 – bits and pieces

Since last week, I have been trying to create a 3D model of my latest painted piece; it has been a fun nightmare.

My previous model was quite challenging as it required me to go take more than 400 photographs and required 3 different sources of light to get rid of most of the shadows, however, I only needed to use one side of it so everything worked at the end.

Photogrammetry2-landscape14-1 Photogrammetry2-landscape14-2

My new piece is quite different, in order to allow people to navigate it from inside, I have to create a 360 model of it, this sets a bigger challenge for proper lighting and placing on the space.

My first idea was to hang it so a could take photos from all the angles, that did not work because it is impossible to keep it still inside of the studio, apparently, a ghost breeze lives within the room.

Next, I did take lots of images placing the object in three different positions over a plinth, so far I was able to make good enough models from three chunks of the original piece, now I have to figure out how to stitch them.

My reflection:

I think that this “chunk” process might be the best way to go, although it is a bit annoying to put the pieces back together, this workflow might allow me to create bigger and complex pieces without worrying too much about RAM processing limits and might be a modular approach for model handling.

3D printing again

Yesterday I started working at a new place and they gave me permission to print small pieces from time to time, this encouraged me to star using 3D prints again, so I made a small model from an image I want to include on my next piece.

3D-printing-Again-1 3D-printing-Again-2 3D-printing-Again-3

My next step will be to integrate some of this new prints into the new piece and see how they behave.

My reflection:

At the moment I feel that 3D printing might allow me to include some complex features to my objects, maybe some pieces that need to be precise or that might need a stronger material as a support, the only way to find out is to keep making new models.

Tate Exchange – giving and receiving

Last Wednesday I participated in the second session at the Tate Modern, It was a very good experience as I managed to present my work to several people and even engaged some interesting conversations, I also got some good feedback from people that do have a genuine interest towards painting.

Tate-Exchange-1 Tate-Exchange-2 Tate-Exchange-3 Tate-Exchange-4

My reflection:

Thanks to this experience I do know that my piece is not for everyone, while some people really spend time teleporting themselves and watching carefully, others are expecting to play a game and quit my piece after a short period of time. I am aware that this is partly because the audience of the Tate Exchange is quite broad and with a huge variety of expectations.

When reflecting on how the whole thing is displayed i.e. physical object, VR immersion, and flat screen real-time transmission, I feel that I should get rid of the teleporting feature and replace it for a continuous navegation, at the moment, my solution will be to create a path for the Camera Rig and ask the VR player to sit down and move his/her head to look around, I feel that in this way, I will get a smoother experience for both the VR player and the spectators, I will also gain control on how the piece is viewed, in the future I could find a way to allow the VR player to move smoothly around the piece and zoom in and out on specific parts of it.

I want to add that I was quite surprised to see that some really young kids really enjoyed the experience.