The final project brings together the visual vocabulary and some of the typologies that I’ve developed throughout the semester. The project presentation posted here displays some of the images that have emerged (size: 68″ x 24″).
This is an internal self portrait, reflecting my actual physical self only in that it is 68″ long and 24″ wide – my approximate physical height and shoulder width – and that it includes several images of one of my eyes, a major portal for collecting information about the physical world.
Flowing voids slice freezing fragments within my mind as I move through physical space. I’m especially interested in how the flow of energy – liquid, human, atmospheric – carves voids or leaves impressions in matter.
Understanding that matter is simply another state of energy, a state that appears frozen or solid to human perception, I’m fascinated at how this frozen state yields to the flowing state. As it allows itself to be sliced and fragmented, it becomes less and less frozen. It melts and flows. Similarly when individual people – varied states of energy – become intertwined physically or emotionally/mentally, voids are created and filled and re-created, frozen places melt, and fragments of the past/present/future twist and intertwine in ways that are sometimes beautiful and sometimes distressing. Energy flows are altered and become imprinted physically; neural pathways are re-carved like the sand on a beach or the stone walls of a canyon responding to the flow of water energy, with fragments of the static portion being sliced off, dissolved and blended with the flow until it settles out and solidifies again in a new form.
If you click on the link in the right-hand column under The Pages on the item titled Presentation – Final (Larger File) you can see a larger, more detailed version of this presentation.
This is a low-res version of a large layout. Individual components are posted separately for more detail and to show the sequential process.
These 3-dimensional objects, created in AutoCAD, emerged from the typologies derived from my research into macro and micro patterns of flowing, slicing, freezing and fragmenting – as well as notions of twisting and distortion.
(background image is sampled and digitally altered from a photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand)
Object, plan view:
Object, front elevation:
Object, isometric view:
My narrative, articulated at the beginning of the semester, has been abstracted into the concept of FLOWING VOIDS SLICE FREEZING FRAGMENTS.
Elements from this alphabet that I’ve drawn – extracted from the photo matrices, typologies and pattern research – provided the raw material used to generate the CAD drawing in the final project.
There are historical, cultural and personal aspects both enfolded in and expressed by the narrative concept and by the typological and illustrative manifestations of it.
Historically I am dealing with the age old flow of matter and energy that sculpts the earth, sky and sea with undulating curves that endlessly intersect in a sort of perfectly imperfect tessellation that seems to manifest at every scale from microscopic to macrocosmic in nearly every elemental medium – ocean waves, fire, clouds, flow-patterns of wind or water on sand or snow, skin cells, sea foam, aquatic reflections and refractions of light, lava flows and rivulets.
As I researched patterns I began to see similar forms emerging in the movement of living creatures– especially people, which opened up cultural dimensions. Humans in every culture find the need to spin and twist, to intertwine themselves with the elements and with each other in sex and battle and in the symbolic representations – dance and sport – of both. We become whirling dervishes, writhing wrestlers, undulating ravers, belly dancers or religious pilgrims flowing around a relic. As we twist, spin and undulate – especially in pairs or in groups – we begin to generate the same primal patterns that I’ve identified in other types of energy flow. Flowing voids begin to slice the freezing fragments of rigidity, and earthly concerns are swept away in a heady swirl. Sperm, hair, skin, muscles, clothing all flow like stardust, sand, snow or vapor. Like the natural logarithm, or any asymptotic function, humans seem to get closer and closer in the twisting, grinding rituals but are always separated by a void, however microscopic. No matter how we thrash about, the void flows with our thrashing and maintains the separation, or perhaps the physical illusion of separation.
As I flow through this life I’m dazzled by the variety of manifestations of this dynamic interaction of energies, and forever thrilled by its endless visual forms. Moving through a landscape I am engaged in a dance (or sometimes a battle) with my surroundings that inevitably takes on a rhythmic undulation where precious fragments of crystallized love energy well up and freeze for a moment to be observed and appreciated, then melt back into the flow.
The pattern images I’ve collected, and the typologies I’ve identified in them, are my effort to express this visually. A few of the images are my own photographs, but most are not my photography, so I claim no ownership of them. I’ve collected them, cropped them, and converted to b/w to display them as reference for the patterns I observe in the world. The pattern photos that I took are displayed at larger size earlier in the blog.
Some of the typologies and typology relationships that have emerged are derived from specific pattern images, but tend to be common to many of the patterns. I’ve diagrammed some of those here:
This combination of word matrices and pattern images is a linear and non-linear diagram of how the words associated with my narrative merge with images representative of how I extract visual information from the ever flowing “movie” that forms the wallpaper for my mind. This is intended as an intuitive exercise, not a “designed” layout, primarily for my own research into my mental/visual process, for the purpose of harnessing the power of that process in a more conscious way to refine my design thinking.
This photo matrix, when converted to outlines of the edges and patterns, informed the typological basis for abstracting my narrative into the “flowing voids slice freezing fragments” concept that informed my final project.
An earlier iteration of the photo matrix:
I’m interested in the vocabulary that is emerging from my drawings.
twisting ~ distorting ~ penetrating ~ revealing ~ spinning ~ slicing ~ overlapping ~ fragmenting ~ flowing ~ floating
I have made photographs of some patterns that I feel connected to through my interest in what these words represent. The photographs were taken at Tomales Point, California. I’ve increased the contrast to dramatize the patterns. I’m fascinated by the similarities in the patterns created by the flow of water across sand, the flow of foam across the surface of water, and the flow of water in the form of clouds. These patterns also seem to mirror the patterns of cellular structure and cosmic patterns of nebula and star swarms – which all seem to undergo similar processes of flow, distortion, transformation, etc.
Beach Watercourse 1
Beach Watercourse II
Sea Foam and Rock
Sea Foam Swirl with Cliff Plants
Based on my drawings up to this point, I identified that my process involved working with voids (distinct negative space) which sometimes “cut” or fragment solids, distortion, tension tapering. These, the final two drawings for the midterm, are an axonometric view and elevation view derived from the previous drawing iterations of the hybridized zoom narratives. Most of the earlier iterations were done in Adobe Illustrator, but these final two drawings were hand drawn with technical pens. Size: approx. 12″ x 12″, ink on illustration board.
These are summaries of the diagramming process which started with a narrative story which was mapped out with line, and then evolved into a visual expression of the narrative which culminated in a hybrid of the progressive iterations.
Digital Hybrid Zoom 6Digital Hybrid Zoom 7
Digital Hybrid Zoom 9
Digital Hybrid Zoom 10
Sometimes it seems like all movement is circular, non-Euclidean – movement of matter, molecules, thought, growth and evolution. It’s like riding a thread in a spherical web. The core contains what you seek, but your route is determined by the winding web. The path sometimes comes close to the center – even wraps directly against it – but veers away into the endlessly overlapping bundle.
Sometimes you propel yourself along the string, and sometimes break free to slither, dive and gyrate in and out of gaps and voids plunging in toward the center or out into nothingness and back.
The string starts to seem like your own vapor trail – expended energy condensing and crystalizing, mapping your circulations and gyrations. In time, it compresses into brittle strands that shrink tighter around the cube.
But I can turn it into a cloud or filo crust. I can make it into the limestone cave that stores oil or hot spring water. I can crack the crust and soak in a subterranean pool, or ignite the oil to roast the whole thing and start fresh.
. . . . . . . .
Tangle Orbit (section):
. . . . . . . .
Spiral Wrap Orbit (section):
Digital vector explorations of the 1/15/09 zoom story.
You can view a few more sketches by clicking the link in the right-hand column “Digital Zoom Story Diagrams.”
This is an exploration of the ideas in my zoom writing – mainly the zooms and stops, the idea of lines being composed of zooms and stops/gaps, and of a muni-map-like array of potential paths for zooming, stopping, and infinite choices for transferring from one line of ‘zoom’ to another.