A collaboration between Mette Ramsgard Thomsen, Florian Koehl and Nat Chard. We built a crane to hang a floding picture plane made of polythene sheet. Florian had built a series of relay driven actuators to fire a set of ten cameras simultaneously. The cameras could have their flash switched on or off so that the the shadow from one flash might be caught anamorphically by another. The pictures from the cameras shown here are all from the same moment of exposure. All the pieces were fabricated over three or four days and set up in an apartment in Copenhagen. I will post a film of the picture plane in motion in a day or two – sorry for the lack of posts recently, I have been away.
Picture Plane Copenhagen (MRT,FK, NC)
The plan shows some of the range of movements possible with the steel crane we built to hold the picture plane.
Parts of the steel crane
Crane in position without picture plane
The following pictures are from Florian’s cameras. In the plan view you can see several flashes going off at the same time.
The stereoscopic image above is of the Mule Deer Group at the American Museum of Natural History in the hall of American Mammals. The 3D view helps you see the junction between the 3D foreground and the painted background (by J.P.Wilson). I received an e-mail form Michael Anderson at the Yale Peabody Museum with whom I had worked on previous projects (see for example the posts on the Cold Bog Camera) reminding me of an e-mail I had sent regarding a photograph of J.P.Wilson working on the diorama. In the foreground is the survey material that includes his painting (for colour accuracy) and panoramic assembly of photographs (under normal circumstances for geometric projection). What is strange about this example is that it is the painting, not the photograph that is gridded for transfer onto Wilson’s diorama shell grid (see detail below).
Painting and photograph
The question on Michael’s mind was if Wilson was using his developed projection technique by this time, and if so why was he working with a grid on the painting. To try to answer this question I built two dioramascopes that would test the projection of the grid on the painting onto a scale model of the diorama shell (that would be lined with photographic paper). One would test the grid as a Hauck picture plane (as a circular picture plane as in Wilson’s technique) and one as a flat picture plane as described in an article by F. L Jaques, a contemporary of Wilson’s.
Dioramascope with circular picture plane
Dioramascope with flat picture plane
Dioramascopes with curved picture plane above and straight below
A tiny light bulb is located at the ideal viewing position and the grid is placed in the correct scale location so that the centre of the grid corresponds to the projection on the diorama shell to the correct height. The two grids cast a shadow on the photographic paper (located at the scale position of the diorama shell). As you can see, the grid shadow from the circular picture plane fills the diorama shell to the correct extent while the flat picture plane grid falls well short. the grid on the dioramascope with the circular picture plane has the horizon cut in it (in the correct grid squares) and these land in the same position as the horizon in the diorama. (See flattened out prints below). It therefore seems that Wilson was using his fully developed projection technique for this diorama, but that he chose to work from the painting rather than the photographs. Why would he do this? If you look carefully, the painting is made from a slightly different position from the photograph, and perhaps on his return he decided that this viewing position would work better for the diorama.
Grids- flat above, curved below
The top print is the print from the flat picture plane and the one below uses the Wilson method. Both to the same scale. In both the paper extends beyond the edge of the diorama but in the lower print the grid fills the diorama shell whereas the upper print using the flat picture plane falls short.
The picture above shows the frame and plates for an experimental peepshow that is open and has adjustable planes. It was a test to find a measure for the accommodation the eye would allow from an ideal anamorphic distortion. The two drawing below were made to calculate that distortion for a particular position of the plates for the main two views. The plates have holes cut in them to composit the peepshow views with the place in which it is found, in this case the iCP gallery in Hamburg.
Drawing One (Nat Chard)
Drawing Two (Nat Chard)
The anamorphic images on the plates are derived from a model (furniture by Karen Gamborg Knudsen and Frederik Petersen) with the two principle views shown below.
The following photographs show various views through the peepshow
Here is a film of instrument three in action – it makes some sense of how the instrument works. During the first half the picture plane folds to provide a critical review of the projection. In the second half the model that is projected is moving, both to persuade but also, when the picture plane is folding, to try to insist on its opinion.
Note how the picture plane catches mostly the splatters that come off the drawing pieces except at the right hand end where some of the main throw is caught. The folds int he picture plane are much more subtle than in the previous instruments and have a much greater effect. The degree of fold can be seen in the previous post.
In the picture above you can see the view the catapult that is going to throw paint has of Instrument Five. As noted earlier, having the folding picture plane behind the drawing pieces means that many of the subtle splatters of deflected paint are obscured by the main body of paint that misses the drawing pieces and deposits a large splat of paint on the picture plane. The same instrument can be seen below, showing this relationship from the side.
Instrument Five (Nat Chard)
Instrument Seven has the same chassis as Instrument Five but has a new picture plane that sits adjacent to the flight of the paint (see below). The folding picture plane has adjustments between each individual plate plus the whole picture plane can rotate slightly. The plane is set up so that the area closest to the drawing pieces forms a harbour to protect that part from a direct flight of paint. Some of the direct flight can catch the back end of the picture plane (or the front if the catapult is turned far enough.
Instrument Seven (Nat Chard)
(Above) You can see how little of the Instrument Seven picture plane sits behind the drawing pieces.
(Below) Side view of Instrument Seven.
Instrument Seven (Nat Chard)
The Instrument Seven drawing pieces are also developed to be more robust and larger targets for the paint. We are no longer discussing the Bird Automata test track in this instrument – the drawing pieces shown here are a media test to push some of the thoughts about what the drawing pieces could achieve. There is a main wooden piece that is protected by a number of slatted screens. as the paint penetrates the screens to cover the wooden piece the slats become more opaque to the flying paint.
Instrument Seven (Nat Chard)
(Above) A detail of the Instrument Seven Drawing Pieces.
Instrument Seven (Nat Chard)
I will post some images of Instrument Seven drawing tomorrow. Below is one of Instrument Seven’s drawings.
These are from around 1992, and go with some of the drawings I posted a couple of weeks ago of spaces that were driven by the occupant’s desires and anxieties. I am away at the moment but will try and find time fro a proper post tomorrow.
A study for some ladders to hold peep shows for an exhibition. Each peepshow would have openings that would allow a view through to the gallery space or to another peep show or a drawing on the wall. In this way the composite view of the gallery from the ladders would be different from at ground level. The view above has one peep show looking through to the anamorphic projection of another peep show. To discuss the idea, models of Van Hoogstraten’s peepshow were used, although new ones would be made for the exhibition.
Here are a couple of stereoscopic views of Duchamp’s Tu M’. The painting has a perspectival pictorial structure with three painted shadows of readymades landing on the canvas (not on the objects described in perspectival depth). A real bottle brush sticks out form the canvas and casts a shadow in the same way as the absent readymades.
Detail Tu M' (Marcel Duchamp)
The pictures are taken from two different horizons.If you are new to this blog, to resolve the stereoscopic pair of images, go cross eyed so that a feature in one image corresponds to the same feature in the other, and try to relax until the depth emerges. If you are having difficulty seeing it, reduce the size of the image on the screen.