road-tripping the end of the world

Archive for May, 2010

the empty room

I often “prototype” works or series of works seemingly indefinitely, and this is mostly because when I do get around to playing with ideas for a work/series I generally don’t feel like what I’m doing is “the work” and just a piece of “the work”. So there’s a ton of pieces I’ve done with the post-fix “(prototype)” in the title, which most of the time will one day grow up to lose that little attachment.

Occasionally the prototype becomes the final product, but, in my defense, that’s pretty rare.

One idea I have been messing around with for a few years now, one that’s undergone a few “prototypes” so far, falls under the title “The Empty Room”. The major obstacle to really exploring this idea has been the absolute mass of clutter in my house and a general lack of access to gritty, abandoned empty interiors (… that aren’t completely uninhabitable, that is). I’m also a touch lazy. But as I like to think that I let ideas percolate over long periods of time and generally that action/inaction does pay off eventually, I tend to let these empty rooms present themselves from happenstance and work with them when they magically appear.

Nonetheless, still in the prototyping stage on this one.

Below are two permutations of some recent experiments, the differences primarily technical. The first image is a composite of several photos, shot horizontally from floor to ceiling, the second is a single shot with a 10mm lens, with the added bonus of HDR rendering (… I am crazy enough to want to make HDR images that don’t look like they’re HDR).

The Empty Room (prototype 2010) (composite)

The Empty Room (prototype 2010) (single shot, HDR)

I suspect, at some point in the future, this will transition into me actually building a room somewhere for the sake of this shot or shots … I am attempting to resist the urge to build miniatures. Not because I don’t like miniatures, and I even have access to a few people doing incredible work with them (HI JER! HI JASON!), but adding the miniature aspect to this work seems to prevent it from being habitable and I’m not sure I can quite reconcile that just yet. I might change my song in a few months tho, as usual.

Meanwhile, if you happen to be moving out of your home/apartment and have neato empty rooms you can whore to me for an afternoon, do let me know.

projection / garage follow up

Lacking the funds and ability to alter the laws of physics and design some delightful Fringe-inspired device that projects darkness, I’ve been screwing around with an LED flashlight to make cheesy shadows on the garage wall.

(this is straight out of the camera, it was more a technical test than anything)

This was simply fingers and a little LED flashlight with … nine little LEDs in it I think. I have some … relatively old … enlargers in the basement, and I was thinking, what better to make a subtle projection than an enlarger head? well we’ll see. Ultimately what I’m aiming for is the effect of shadows-appearing-without-evident-origin on a surface that appears *naturally* lit – hence the subtle light. It’s not quite working just yet with the LED flashlight but maybe¬† the enlarger will do a better job (it’s also got built-in colour filters!) And yes, overhead projectors, I know (thank you Shari Boyle and Daniel Barrows).

On a side note, increasingly it seems evident prop-construction is going to become part of my practice. Not that this is a bad thing, but I did get rather content just ‘collecting’ things as opposed to making them.¬† Propnomicon has been a delightfully appropriate resource of late, there is some damn good (and fun) work out there based on the Lovecraft mythos.

Also, on the night photography note, Joe Reifer’s blog and website have earned themselves a permanent tab in Firefox of late, in particular check out his night photos of military ruins … will definitely have to make a roadtrip to the american south-west sometime.