Aug 16, 2015

Aug 16, 2015 I was out of town for the weekend enjoying Lake Huron. Without a computer, or any of the usual city stimulus I think in a different way.

I was searching for something on my iPhone with a Chrome browser. I’m slowly reading  After Nature by W.G. Sebald. In the opening stanza there are references to specific paintings so I was looking for the Lindenhardt Altarpiece to make more sense of the writing. After I did an initial web search and then refined it to look for images I noticed a distinct delay as those images loaded on my iPhone. I thought these loading images looked interesting. They were solid blocks of colour. I started taking screen grabs of them.

IMG_6648cAfter the discovery I started to do specific, targeted searches for things like sky, water, red, black & white, and other terms to see if I could find even more interesting screen grabs.

Below is one of those searches. I processed them slightly on my desktop. I took the original screen ratio of the grabs and cropped to 1:1 ratio in Photoshop. But that’s it.

IMG_6701cgood As well as cropping I discovered I could rotate them and they looked very different. IMG_6723cgoodrotateI also discovered I could create a composition with groups of these screen grabs. The image below is a grab of my iPhone photo gallery capturing several individual screen-grabs in a grouping. This image becomes a bit creepy when you look at it in  conjunction with the photograph of the gymnasium window in the previous post. It was taken a few days prior at the Adult Learning Centre in Toronto. Both are playing on geometric patterns that unconsciously relate a bit to stained glass panel construction. I find it strange and a bit unsettling that this new discovery lead me to create something that resembled a photo I had taken a few days prior without consciously planning to do so.IMG_6725cgood

I’ve gone a bit further with this concept. In the image below I did an initial Google search in a Chrome browser for “Rainbow”. I then refined to “images” and screen-grabbed 20 or so times. That created enough density in my photo album on the phone to screen grab all of those Rainbow images. I cropped that square.


I then discovered I could take a screen-grab of that square image as it rotated creating the images below. I’ll try this a few steps further. I’m interested if I can continually screen grab until the image is so small it’s impossible to read.



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June 24, 2015

June 24, 2015 So I thought I’d better start to move on the painting thing. I threatened several times in posts and mentioned to a few people that I’d be trying it.

I have two wood surfaces ready. I bought 30 x 30 wooden, pre-made panels and I’ve primed these with several layers of gesso. I’ve sanded both and I think I have the surface ready to work. They’re nice just as they are and I find them a good subject for photographs. I’m probably just afraid of them so I think about photographing them.

Here’s one, face down on my work table with a black paper backdrop in the background. IMG_5251I also took a photograph today at my day job office. The picture below is rotated 90 degrees. The black area on the right is carpet, the darker beige beside that is the front of a drywall curb, the lighter beige the top of that “curb”. The area on the right is wall. The area you can’t see between the top of the curb and the wall contains a fluorescent light fixture. I like this composition as an easy start. I bet it will be far from easy.IMG_5225Now I just have to buy my paint, and learn how to use it. I have several rolls of Home Depot masking tape for house painting. I also have some instructions from the Golden Acrylic website.

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Squared is based on one of the ideas for Made. Made is a planned exhibition for January 2014.

This started with the ideas for another project called Tarps and then just sort of morphed into a project that becomes more math than I ever thought I’d be interested again. I like to think of Squared as based in the photographic but tied to painting, colour theory, and sculpture.

Squared Squares or Squaring the Square is a mathematical problem. Basically the premis is to create a square made of different squares, none of which can be the same size. I discovered this—not because I knew about the problem but—because I simply wanted to achieve the Squared Squares thing and I didn’t know how to do it.  I stumbled upon the Global Constraint Catalogue simply by searching for squared squares. I’m very happy I did. I haven’t read through the details on that site but I did come across a diagram that visualized what I was thinking about.

The above image from the Global Constraints Catalogue depicts the simplest proof for Squaring the Square where 21 different size squares are used to create a perfect larger square. Below I’ve converted the diagram above into a Sketch Up digram just because I’m feeling guilty for stealing someone else’s work.

The first part of my plan is to figure out how this math proof works so I can create the simple Square of Squares without just copying it.

My Square of Squares is 3D, because I started seeing it this way as more of a sculpture. I’ve since discovered that a Cube of Cubes is actually impossible. This became clear to me when I understood the simple idea of a proof by infinite decent. It will be cool to see if I can understand why, but I digress. The above structure is the premis for Squared.

I’d like to create a larger work like the 3D rendering above and below. It will end up two dimensional more like the first illustration, made of 21 different pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve been mulling the idea of making these pieces out of stretcher frames with wood panel facings to paint on. I was going to make them out of stretched canvas but the added material of the canvas stretched around the frame would no doubt through my measurements off and make the Squared Square more difficult to achieve accurately.

Picture twenty one panels fitted together to make the larger square. Each of these stretcher panels would either be 1″,  1.5″, 2″ or 3″ thick.  I would paint each of the panels either a different grey shade or a different colour. More likely it will be colour based as I’m more interested in colour photography than in black and white. I’d then take photos of each of the panels, so twenty one pictures. Maybe 22 if I take an image of the assembled Square of Squares.

I see it clearly. In a gallery space—perhaps even Bau-Xi Photo if they agree—I would assemble the larger Squared Square on a wall. It would be 112″ x 112″ or roughly 9 feet x 9 feet square. It should be pretty cool. Meanwhile I’ve taken the different twenty two photographs and printed them on the same size square paper, maybe they get printed 24″ x 24″. The goal is to simply frame and hang these side by side around the gallery or on a single wall of the space. Each would like identical except for the actual tone or colour of the image and each would relate back to the larger wall sculpture/panel painting.

This fascination started with the last show Wandering. In that show I shot with the square in my head and cropped down all my images from the typical in camera frame ratio of 2:3 to be square 1:1 ratios. This allowed me to see differently and now I’m really liking the square frame. That’s the impetuous for this project but I’m now thinking more about other aspects of photography or at least other aspects of photography and how it pertains to my practice.

The squares loosely represent pixels to me. I think this is because I’ve been more and more preoccupied with the debate and discussion about digital photography vs analog photography. The colour is another thing I’ve been thinking about and again relates to various conversations I’ve been involved, overheard or read about the nature of photography and the value of colour or black & white printing. There’s also a real nod to my favourite painters Joseph Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Claude Tousignant and others. Add to that a general attraction for the work of Johannes Itten. Then there’s the aspect of painting, taking pictures of paintings and the blurred lines between the two that I love.  Finally there’s a real sense fo creating something to be photographed here that I think is a natural direction to take based on the work in Wandering. Wandering was found art, Squared will be made art.

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