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Monthly Archives: September 2011

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.

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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 – I 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 ┬ábeing 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.