Monthly Archives: September 2011

Space between feet study (Nat Chard)

After the work int he previous post there are a number of studies that look closer at some of the conditions within the yellow drawing. Above is a study for a much larger drawing (below) of the space between the lower legs of the two people walking. In each case a single (and sectioned) figurative foot locates the scale and nature of the abstract registration of knee, lower leg and foot.

Full size space between lower legs (Nat Chard)

Some other drawings (this time drawn over Polaroid transfers) build up a perceptual composite of the foot during this walk (below). Both are drawn oer images of X-Rays.

Foot study 1 (Nat Chard)

Foot study 2 (Nat Chard)

Electronic context (Nat Chard)

As I mentioned in the last post, the vertical yellow lines in the yellow drawing sit in place of a coherent idea of context for the space. THis drawing is a suggestion that the skin of the space, which is sensitive to electronic signals in the skin of the people who walk through it, is also sensitive to electronic signals in the ether. The impressions in the architectural skin in this image (above) are from navigation signals and are quite stable. As with previous pairs of drawings, these are stereoscopic so if you go cross eyed so that one image registers over the other, you will see the thing in 3D. The animation figure was built for a stereoscopic film of this project. I think it is stored on obsolete media, but if i can find it I might post it.

Personal space study (Nat Chard)

The image above (also stereoscopic) is a personal space study. It is quite a hard one to resolve as there is  incomplete overlap in the images, but if you can resolve it the personal space drawn around her body works quite well.

Time/space section (Nat Chard)

The last image in this post is a later attempt at similar content to the yellow drawing (in the previous post) but with a mixture of instantaneous and durational images (working from a photofinish-like photograph of two people walking). All these drawings are from 1994.

Space of two people walking (Nat Chard)

After drawing the spaces in the previous post (Hall and Staircase) the thing that fascinated me most was how one would perceive such a space, where you are implicated in the nature of that place. How would you construct a spatial consciousness in a space that was constantly adapting to you and others? The drawing above, and below in detail, shows two people walking, as a Marey-like abstraction of the body. Around them are a series of grey pieces that are a mixture of perceptions (with the rounded edges, rather as the resolution of an optical cone, and recollections with the squarer edges (that are behind them). It is an incomplete composite of a duration, where some parts of the space are emerging and others decaying while the sense of the whole is neither what is was, nor what it will be and certainly not what it is. The snotty stuff int he middle is what they imagine to be their personal space while the vertical yellow lines discuss an as yet unresolved sense of context. These are from 1993.

Space of two people walking, detail (Nat Chard)

The figures in the blue frame are an elevation of the two people showing them as an imagined presence, trying to imagine how they would imagine their part in the evolving condition. The drawings relate to a couple of studies that I will post some other time, but there is a specific drawing that speculates on this issue relative to the drawing above. It is shown below.

Feedback perceptions in desire sensitive space (Nat Chard)

The top drawing is airbrushed ink and paint as well as acrylic painted directly on housepaint. The lower drawing (above) is airbrushed ink and paint over a Polaroid transfer, this time using 669 type film. The chemical marks on the left of the image come from the developing chemicals and film dye being spread out when rolling down the peel-apart negative.

Hall and Staircase - perspective section (Nat Chard)

These drawings were made in 1992 when i was looking at the implications that a range of emerging new technologies might have on architecture. One in particular, intelligent gel, offered the possibility of an active flexible surface. In the four sections below someone walks in a hallway that is sensitive to her desires and anxieties. These are translated spatially (and detected for the natural electronic signals in her skin). There are also practical movements – the ground moves up to accept each step to maintain a certain horizon, for instance. In the second section a staircase appears (the same situation as in the perspective above), in the third the person emerging from the staircase enters the first person’s space. In the fourth drawing the two people go their own ways while the space tries to reconcile their composited desires and anxieties. THe project was far more of a question than a proposal but it was the questions that came out of these drawings that nourished the work much more.

Hall and Staircase 1 (Nat Chard)

Hall and Staircase 2 (Nat Chard)

Hall and Staircase 3 (Nat Chard)

Hall and Staircase 4 (Nat Chard)

All these drawings are airbrushed ink and paint on paper

Instrument Two in Action 1 (Nat Chard)

Instrument Two in Action 2 (Nat Chard)

Instrument Two in Action 3 (Nat Chard)

Instrument Two in Action 4 (Nat Chard)

Instrument Two in Action 5 (Nat Chard)

Instrument Two in Action 6 (Nat Chard)

A sequence of adjustments to the picture plane as well as to the model in the projector. You can see the shadows of the model on the picture plane. If this is your first view of the blog, the rest of the instrument can be seen in a post further down the page, as can the drawings that result from working with the instrument. The nature and geometry of the folds in the picture plane were developed to provide a range of subtle to developed adjustments within the area covered by the projection lens.

In a later post I will put up some films of the picture plane moving to show its range of folds.

Unfinished instrument (Nat Chard)

This was an attempt to repeat the performance of Instrument Two in real time, so the projection would be a durational one, drawing with moving points of light onto a photosensitive paper on a moving folding picture plane. It still sits in this state, as it became clear that the predictability of light projection was too predictable for my needs. It uses identical cast aluminium components as Instrument Two (and Three, yet to come on here) but the active parts are completely different. The large roller bearing is to carry the picture plane, also located by the small bearing on top of the tower.

Instrument two drawing (Nat Chard)

Here is one of the drawings from Instrument Two. It is a photograph on photographic paper that was held on the picture plane with acrylic plates, so the holes around the edges are from blots that hold the plates (and the photographic paper) to the picture plane. The dark parts are the projection of the white model in the box (projector) and the white parts are the negative of the shadow. below is the positive from this negative (in conventional photographic terms).

Instrument two drawing positive (Nat Chard)

The only reason for showing thei image is that it makes it easier to see where the various parts came from, so the projection is now white and the paradoxical shadow is black. The shadow seems to register with the base of the projected model, but is mysteriously smaller, geometrically perhaps appearing to be the object for which the projection is the shadow. You can also see photograms of the plate edges (that hold the paper flat on the picture plane) and some of the registrations cut into the surface of the plates.

Below is a sequence of drawings. The whole sequence can be seen in a picture in the previous post.

Instrument two drawing (Nat Chard) 2Instrument two drawing (Nat Chard) 4

Instrument two drawing (Nat Chard) 9

Instrument two drawing (Nat Chard) 10

The difference between the images is established mostly by folds in the picture plane. As the picture plane adjusts to question the projection, the model int he projector also moves to try and sustain its opinion on the picture plane.

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard)

There is another body project to show, as well as some studies, but I will mi things up a bit with the second drawing instrument. It has a much more developed folding picture plane as a critical receiver of projections. Imagine it as the inversion of a camera. The world is in the box and the camera,or drawing surface is outside – so it must be operated in darkness.

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard) photo Robert Bean

The box is a projector. It contains a model and a light bulb (that illuminates the model). The light from the model is reflected off a mirror and then goes through a lens from a 5″ by 4″ camera to be projected onto the folding picture plane that has photographic paper held under acrylic plates. Sitting on some of these plates is a larger version of the model in the projector. If the projector is trying to persuade something, the picture plane is critical of that opinion and folds to distort and adjust the projection – a critical reception, a bit like the body projects with the city. I will post a sequence of folds and projections to make sense of this another day. Normally the perspectival image tries to pretend that the picture plane does not exist, but the model on this picture plane casts a paradoxical shadow – it lands on the picture plane rather than on what is pictured. At the same time it resonates with the projected model, so it seems to make some sort of sense. But it cannot make that sense and a perspectival sense at the same time (or it does not have a complete sense, other than as the consequence of this instrument), so it is up to the observer (of the drawing/photograph) to construct their own sense of it.

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard)

The instrument also has a chest of drawers that hold tools for the instrument, spare parts, and spare parts for you (a pair of Victorian glass eyes). The frame is cast Aluminium, working from the same patterns and moulds as drawing instrument One (which was cast in plastic). The patterns were machined on my little CNC machine РI will post pictures of them on a later post. The dome over the projector is an 18th c French glass dome, one of three that size found in Copenhagen. The other two are  being incorporated in instruments I am working on now.

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard)

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard)

Above: Instrument Two plays with a folded map of Winnipeg.

Drawing Instrument 2 (Nat Chard)

I will also show some of the drawings from the instrument in a subsequent post.

X-Ray 1A (Nat Chard)

X-Ray 1B (Nat Chard)

The stereoscopic anatomical drawings describe the apparatus to make an internal architecture. THis sequence of paired drawings discusses the revelation of the architecture in both a practical way but also by implication a sense of the larger spatial consequence of the project. Each pair of drawings has an X-ray and a photographic illustration of the position the body has to hold to take that X-ray. The base images (except for the final X-ray) are taken from Positioning in Radiography by K.C. Clark (1949 edition). Francis Bacon worked from images in the 1939 edition of the same book.

Each X-Ray shows parts of the new body apparatus but they are available to this sort of inspection selectively, so not everything is visible. The positioning photographs display a formal transparency of the apparatus, again selectively as only those parts that press against the skin are visible.

When walking in the city (with clothes, mainly for modesty and or vanity, for the apparatus copes with all but the chilliest or steamiest climes) the person hosting the architecture is formally indistinguishable form anyone else except through their behaviour – perhaps being alive and engaged in the world and maybe through the ability to wear out of season clothes – the apparatus coping with the temperature difference.

X-Ray 2A (Nat Chard)

X-Ray 2B (Nat Chard)

In the positioning picture (2B) you can see a filter under her skin just above her forearm and the top of the breathing/cooling components just below her collar bone, the piece that is visible in the X-ray.

I found the radiography manual in a second hand bookshop just outside Manchester for three pounds when I was visiting friends. It had been a student f the year prize for a radiographer and includes things like X-rays of unborn babies (very beautiful but where one might wonder about the effects of the X-ray on the baby) and one of a man who has swallowed his false teeth.

X-Ray 3A (Nat Chard)X-Ray 3B (Nat Chard)

X-Ray 3B (Nat Chard)

X-Ray 3A is not from Positioning in Radiography, but 3B is, the positioning to take the image in 3A. The X-Ray shows the selective revelation of the intestines through the agency of a barium meal – tissue that would otherwise be transparent to X-Ray shows up due to the meal. The image is unlikely, as the synthetic organs of the new apparatus should divert toxins through the synthetic system (and therefore reveal them more fully) so we have to assume that the apparatus has been turned off to check the natural organs. In the positioning photograph you can again see discrete bumps around her waist and abdomen where the apparatus pushes into the skin.

Abdomen (Nat Chard)

The body project drawings are made on Polaroid transfers using type 59 film, taken with a 5″ by 4″ view camera. The Cambo camera I use has just enough movement side to side to take a left and right eye shot without moving the tripod or camera’s monorail (when photographing the anatomical torso at the distances used in these shots). If you look at the first body projects in the second post there is no compensation for the position of the figure in the frame, while in the subsequent projects I used the horizontal shift in the film plane to locate both images in the same area of the frame. Despite this, the imprecise nature of making the transfers makes it hard to register the two images centrally on the stretched watercolour paper (I was using a heavy grade of Fabriano Five). When you see the frames lined up the pairs of images are noticeably irregular.

One day while I was working on the second body project (previous post) I was drawing on a pair of images in the morning. So as to protect the rest of the image I placed a paper mask (see the image above) that exposed only the area I was working on. I placed masking film over that area and cut out my masks for airbrushing with a Swann Moron scalpel. That afternoon I had an appointment at the hospital to examine a mole on my abdomen that was growing at a worrying rate. On seeing my mole, the doctors decided to remove it. As I sat there they gave me a local anaesthetic and then placed a paper mask around the area, mostly I believe for my modesty. Then they cut into my abdomen with exactly the same sort of scalpel I had been working with that morning. As they cut around the mole into the fatty layer under the skin to make sure they had captured everything. I was looking through a paper mask to the inside of my body just in the same way I had looked at a similar area of the body in the drawings.

Body project two, layer one (Nat Chard)

To dig out greater nourishment from the project I went through the performance and plumbing of the main body organs that were appropriate for the projects and set out a parallel synthetic system with feedback loops to the natural versions. All the flow rates and pressures for fluids, solids and air were calculated to work in sympathy with their natural counterparts. A sequence of drawings works from the deepest levels to the surface. THe first layer has the main mechanical pumps for air and blood.

The premise of the project remains similar to that outlined in the previous post.

Body project two, layer two (Nat Chard)

The second level shows the abdominal filters, some of the pieces most likely to protrude as bumps under the skin.

Body project two, layer three (Nat Chard)

The red and white element shown in layer three is the digestive element that converts carbs into electricity to run the synthetic organs. It is the least plausible of the synthetic organs. Most of the others have some basis in medical reality and after this project was made some of them were overtaken by medical technology – but more of that when we get to the third body project.

Body project two, layer four (Nat Chard)

Layer four has additional pieces inserted between the new and existing organs to help slippage when the body twists and turns.

Body project two, layer five (Nat Chard)

Layer five shows a heat shield. As with the previous body project, all the drawings are stereoscopic and made over polaroid transfers. The polaroid photographs were made from an anatomical torso borrowed from UCH in London.

Body project two, layer six (Nat Chard)

The heat shield is drawn as a transparent layer in the remaining drawings. Here in layer six the sensitive control unit sits outside the heat shield.

Body project two, layer seven (Nat Chard)

Layer seven shows the heat exchanger that works with the air handling vessels (see next layer)

Body project two, layer eight (Nat Chard)

The top layer includes the air handling vessel that works as a constant volume inverse of the natural lungs, and breathes through one of the abdominal filters. The drawings are airbrushed over the already unreliable polaroid transfers. Several of the layers are transparent so cannot be painted over if the work goes wrong. Working without an undo button can help one commit to something…