Experiment 0311

This post I would like to start with an image of the end result of this experiment. The question is whether you can deduct where the material becomes immaterial, where does the analogue flow into the digital? At the end of this writing I will return to this issue.


Let me first explain a little about the experiment. It was an intensive day in which I followed the experimental structure as sketched before. I decided that I should focus my action this time on the core of the diagram, being the space where the actual object and projected scanned object merge.

I worked with a piece of rope as prefound object. I call it pre-found as this describes my found objects in a new light. Personally removed as possible, tool-like object, that is found before, to study its interesting material characteristics. I like this term ‘pre-found’ also as it bares resemblance with the word profound. Maybe a profound object shows in a ‘deeper way’ what it is made off in both domains, meaning in the material manifestation and the digital projected immaterial manifestation.

And yet, this raises the question whether there are more meaningful objects and less meaningful objects. I have a hunch that this might be the case, particular when I am concentrating on objects that can be projected onto. However, this statement comes much to early in the research process to really telling you this! So for now, let’s keep that a hypothesis.

So, I scanned and moved the bunch of cords on the scanner and got some great looking images. I will not show them here, as they spoil the fun of what comes next. However, I got the feeling that I was on the right track with this object.

As I am also thinking about a set up of two scanners, I came up with the simple idea of putting a mirror above the object and played also with the light reflecting of the scanner. It opened up a new experiment, which I will do soon.

Next, I did not want to make any adjustments to the scanned images as they were ‘good to go’. No artistic manipulation is also an artistic decision as you know.

Then the hardest part comes (and therefor the most interesting one). How to set up an assemblage of the rope and the projection in a meaningful way. I feel this is the balancing act between the two domains. But there are three things to be considered here.

  1. In what position will the object be presented, standing, hanged, against the wall, draped or whatsoever? And will the object be still or in movement? As I took this time still images of the scanner, the object should be moving. This is just following my experimental structure so far.
  2. How does the image of the projected relate to the object? Mostly at the beginning of the set up the light plays a more important role than I want and the image is hardly visible in conjunction with the object.
  3. Often there is lots of ‘shadow light‘, by which I refer to part of the image that is strongly visible on the background or wall or so, which is mostly unwanted. Then for me it simply becomes a screened projection. Here the attention is on the spilled image instead of on the searched fusion.


In the above image I was trying with the draped cords – the rope was falling apart during my working with it – hanging as if it was a small projection surface. The spilled light worked interesting on the black curtain and its folds and the rhythm of the image is visually telling but somehow this was not the fusion I strived for. At that time I wrote in my notebook ‘video and physical work have less magic than the photographs’. I felt disappointed and went for lunch.

Then I took another angle. Putting the beamer on a stairs, projecting from skew above. The cords had shifted towards each other, as attractive forces of similar material always try to do. The small motor turned the bunch of rope around while the scanned images were projected. Suddenly it felt like a breakthrough. I saw the plane in between both domains coming to live in front of my own eyes: my thinking became materialised at the same moment!

While the hours flew by, I made photographs and I like the images, the imperfections as well as these short moments in for example the video when the two become one. And I noted some flaws at the same time.


I raised questions while seeing and doing, like:

  • why do you see 3D in the video so different from the 2D image of the scanner?
  • has this to do with shades only or also with textures, or does it depends on the sharpness, being in focus?
  • why does things feel more real than when they are just in the digital? I see them both on the same video, so why does this occur to me?
  • what happens if I put the scanner image back over the video signal?

This last question I tried out and here are three graded images manipulated with 0%, 20% and 40% of return video image. All to be judged with the central fusion plane in mind.


Conclusion: this all leads to the fascinating challenge where the analogue fuses into the digital and vice versa in the context of my experimentations. I feel there is a plane where the fabrics of things are telling us more about the mental image that evolves from it. I suggest that a state of the sublime can be found (t)here, taken the profound object and the well-balanced projection.

So far, my bold thinking for today.