Inside the cave – Revisiting the painting

Last week I was able to make a video render of the digital model from my landscape #13 piece. As a final touch, I added a soundtrack by Wagner called “Die Walküre”, I selected this musical background because I wanted to make a connection to a piece called “Der Riese”, a video made by artist Michael Klier. In this piece, Michael used the footage from an airport’s surveillance camera and by adding the sound, he created a narrative that was not meant to exist in the original material.

I am quite pleased with the end result. As a painter, it is quite interesting to me to be able to explore a piece from within and I feel this is really changing and expanding my approach to painting and sculpting and now I am trying to reflect on all the things I am subverting within my practice.

The active viewer

By escaping flatness, the image folds and grows on itself, so the gaze of the viewer is challenged by not being able to see everything from a set point of view, at this point, I am aware that not every viewer feels comfortable about this challenge but I also know that this opens a whole bunch of possibilities for the viewer to interact with the piece.

The evolving image

Painting sometimes becomes boring, I have to say that more than one time in the past, I have felt that the piece I was working on, became so familiar, that working on it was as enjoyable as brushing my teeth. Since I started working on 3D paintings, especially on the standalone ones, I feel that I am constantly challenged by them, not only from a technical point of view but also from a perceptual point of view, and I feel that, by not being able to see all the image at once, it keeps changing.

Shaping accident

Although I knew that using a sculpture as a canvas was a way to challenge my practice as I needed to constantly adapt due to changes in light and terrain, I was not able to imagine how the piece would actually look from within, I guess I was not aware of how it might actually mutate once I added the artificial lighting, changed the scale and added a floating point of view. Another thing I also discovered is that I could potentially intervene bot

Controlling the gaze

By using a camera that runs through a path, and then rendering a video, I am partially controlling the way the piece is looked at. Of course, one could argue that the viewer is now looking at a video rather than looking at a painting, however, I think that by being confronted with the physical sculpture, both elements become strongly bonded inside the viewer’s mind.

In the VR piece, more control is given to the viewer as he/her is able to move his/her head in any desired direction, however, I still have control over the path that the viewer is following.

Seeing with rhythm

For many years I wanted to add sound to my pieces, although I am not creating it at the moment, I am quite pleased to use this magnificent soundtrack, I believe that this adds a new layer to the piece and allows me to increase the dramatic effect obtained with the flashlight-like lighting.

Things to try in the future

  • Make an early 3D model or even playing with the concept of two different layers of paint, one will only be visible from within and the other one will be only visible from outside.
  • Create restricted access areas, forcing the viewer to look from a distance or even prevent him/her from seeing some parts from within or outside the piece.
  • Plan how the camera could potentially move following different paths.

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.

Ways of seeing – John Berger

   Recently I was accepted on a peer-to-peer event called Pop-up common room, and one of the things we had to do was to read a book called Ways of seeing by John Berger, I did not read the book although now I think is worth to take a look to it, instead, I saw a four-episode collection of videos on youtube.

I have to say that this was a very positive surprise, and I feel that many of the things said by him resonate a lot with my ideas.

There are particular passages on this videos that I am planning to share at the research discussion due on the 9th of March.

The first fragment is about how we see things and how images are manipulated and transformed by the use of the camera to reproduce them, I really feel that there is a strong link with my research paper.

Ways-of-seeing-1

At the end of this same fragment, I found a strong connection with my present practice and how images could be used to create space.

The next fragment gains a huge importance within my current practice as I am able to use still images in combination with a moving camera and even sound. I really like it when he talks about the corridor between the viewer and the painting.

Ways-of-seeing-2

This other little fragment resonates with my idea of the META-IMAGE

Ways-of-seeing-3

This other fragment from episode 4 also enriches my idea of the META-IMAGE

Ways-of-seeing-4

My reflection:

At the moment I am quite interested in two specific topics i.e. spatial metaphors and the Meta-image, Berger has given me wonderful insights about images and the way we use them and abuse them, I think I should take a look at his book and also look for references to other authors that reflect about visual culture.

Landscape on a Black Square – Process as part of the piece

This week I am part of an exhibition called “Everyone should paint a black square at least once in their life”, I is on display at Raum Gallery. It is very interesting to see how 14 people approach this theme from so many different perspectives.

I have to say that this was a quite interesting experiment for me as I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to make just hours before the deadline. At the end I delivered a piece that evolved onto the most unexpected thing as I ended up doing a drawing/text piece.

The day before that I made a drawing of a landscape inside an black square using a fairly complicated process. I did record the whole process as I thought it would present it next to the piece, On the day of the opening and having a chat with Anthi and Donald, I ended up writing a text that became a significant part of the piece.

LandscapeBlackSquare1 LandscapeBlackSquare2

The process (text)

  1. A Preview was used to open a .jpg file made from a screen capture of a environment created using a .fbx file made from a .svg file generated from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  2. A Blender was used to import a .svg file made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. A curve was converted into a mesh and then it was extruded on a “Z” axis, afterwards it was exported as a .fbx
  3. A Photoshop was used to open a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.. It was developed and it and saved as a .jpg
  4. A black marker was used to draw a Black Square over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  5. A camera was used to make a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.
  6. A Illustrator was used to open a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. It was converted into a vector shape and exported it as a .svg
  7. A Unity was used to import a .fbx file created from a .svg file made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook. It was placed on a plane and scaled up until it looked huge, then, a prefab character was placed inside and used to walk around to test all. Some mountains and trees were added and it was tested again. A prefab character was used to find a perfect spot, then, cmnd+shift+3 were pressed to create a .jpg file from a screen capture.
  8. A black pen was used to draw a landscape inside a black square that was drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook using a black marker. It was a landscape from a .jpg file made from a screen capture of a 3D environment generated using a .fbx file created from a .svg file that was made from a .jpg file built from a .cr2 file of a Black Square drawn over a white sheet of paper from a black notebook.

The process

LandscapeBlackSquare3

Finding the right spot

I did Run the Unity file and walked around the space util I found the perfect spot to make my drawing.

My reflections

I had the intention to ad text as part of my pieces, this exercise has given me some ideas to use it in the future, It was fun to remove my self from the text and make it as a vague instructional document.

I thing I will keep on looking for new ways to reflect about my process.

 

Little tragedy – take 2

Today the sky was gray and the morning had been washed away by a persistent rain that kept talking until the middle of the afternoon. My excuse vanished and my mind started to insistently remind me that I needed to bring back a book to the Wimbledon’s library. At the edge of 4 pm I decided to take my chances on a fast trip to the college.

I took the path that runs parallel to the train tracks. I was moving fast  using one eye to watch out for people while keeping the other fixed on the gray clouds above. After a few minutes down the road, and tanks to the black color of the wet pavement, I started noticing little tinny yellowish things spread on the floor, on a closer inspection I was both surprised and terrified, little snails were coming out of the bushes and nobody noticed them.

As I started walking carefully, I noticed some small and gooey spots on the floor, there were sad little tragedies all over the rout, and although I was able to “save” a few of them, it felt as a pointless task, after all, there was nothing I could do to explain them how dangerous it was to slowly drift on that big road.

Back from the library the scene was the same, lots of people walking carelessly while little snails were creeping awfully slowly on the way. I had to put one out of its misery, save two more and then decided to document the scene, I first tried to take several pictures of one to make a 3D model of the living one, It was impossible as they move to fast for a sequence of photos.

LittleTragedytake2-1

My only option for a 3D model was to pic the “still ones”.

LittleTragedytake2-2

Camberwell Rollercoaster – Fishing with VR

DIWO-1This last Wednesday Raum Gallery opened the door for me and I had the opportunity to spend for almost 7 hours sharing my first VR piece with people that was passing by (At some point I used the VR set as a “fish hook” – it worked!).

DIWO-2

Although I was not counting, I estimate that at least 50 brave participants sat to experiment my VR experiment. This experience taught me a lot as I had the opportunity to chat with almost everybody about the experience.

mosaic

One unexpected and wonderful fact about this whole event is that, for more than half of the participants, it was the first time ever they interacted with a VR device.

Although it may feel quite different, I want to share this video in order to give you the flavor of what people experienced.

Special thanks to:

-Donald.
-Cèline.
-Anthi.

A single man with a lot say

A-single-man

A week ago I saw the movie “A single man” by Tom Ford, it a was really interesting movie and I ended up thinking about three different scenes and one of them in particular has inspired me to do an experiment, that is why I’m going to publish this post in both my Influences and work sections.

The scenes:

The first and maybe the most relevant scene for me was the one in which George (Colin Firth) visits his friend Charlie (Juliane Moore), right when they meet on the front door, another scene fades in, it is a fragment from a previous scene where Charlie found out about the death of his lover. This this momentary overlapping made me thing about time compression not only in movies but also on images.

The second scene that captivated me was the one where George and his young student Kenny (Nicholas Hoult)  where talking inside a bar, at one moment,  the young guy replied: “we are born alone, we die alone, and while we are here we are absolutely, completely sealed in our own bodies”… “We can only experience the outside world through our own slanted perception of it. Who knows what youʼre really like. I just see what I think youʼre like.”

Finally, the third part of the movie that captured my attention was just before the end, when George experiences an epiphany and says: “A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity when, for a few brief seconds, the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh, it’s as though it had all just come into existence.  I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments.  They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be”.

When I saw this I felt something clicked in my head, I guess that we humans try to hold on to our most memorable moments just like a drunk guy clings to the railing while he awkwardly descends the staircase. They are like keyframes on a time line and on some rare moments, our immediate experience pulls them into the stage creating an ambiguous moment where past and present collide on to each other.

The experiment:

collision#1

Physical-digital miscegenation cycle #2

This is my second diagram, I began trying to specify a wide range of components and it has changed a lot.

 

drawit-diagram

Reflection:

Right now I am starting to understand the possible relations between “context” and “processes” in the digital world. Files or “digital objects” can have different states depending on the context.

I am also aware that digital environments are dependant on physical matter .