Defining IllusionismLyrical Abstraction priorNext
Defining Illusionism
Ron Davis, Spindle, 1968

Ronald Davis
Spindle, 1968
54 x 111 inches

Pigments, polyester resin, and fiberglass

an illusion

Yeah - i could model it in wire and render it, but it would never be anywhere near.

I'm not talking about the physical presence of the actual "Spindle" object here - since we're in this mode of looking at it in pixelworld (wherein all realities are inherently equal, some of them are just better looking)

In wireframe, no matter the subtlety of the surface textures and lighting - you don't get away from the fact that it's already an object with all its sides - and that it exists in a volumetric space that it carries with it in whatever electronic realm it lives in as a model (until the technology its existence depends upons dies...)

You can "pick up" a wireframe with your virtual fingers and turn it around. The drag of not being able to do that in fully rendered realtime is just that: a drag - it doesn't change the immanence of the object. You can take those wireframe components - which are already dimensioned in feet and inches and degrees - and hand them to a craftsman and they can build that thng for you. When you repurpose the wireframe - display it as a rendering or projection on a screen, or rasterize it and print it on paper (or whatever) - then it becomes something else, but it's _never_ what "Spindle" was.

"Spindle" above - existed _that way_ in your mind, and then in resin. [still does, here in its crate in NM. . . /rd] It never had any other sides than the one we're (by proxy here) looking at. There is no backspace, there is no supporting technology other than the consensual one we share by virtue of organic evolution - this is cavepainting divorced from the hunt, from blood and bones and hunger and the uncertainty of weather.

There was a good article in the LA SUNDAY TIMES about how "expensive" raytracing of wireframed objects was, and how nearly impossible it was to render light-scattering in a glass of milk. They're shining lasers in it, they're working on faking the backlit glow of blood in a cartoon character's ears because it takes too much computer time to make it look right frame after frame in a video using physcial radiosity.

Hell, Vermeer knew that. He'd starve as a cel artist penciling away on a piecework rate like the production methods of 90% of what you see on tv and in the movies...

One thing i'm doing with mesh and pixels is looking at the interface between "you can grab it" and "you can look at it" perception - except i'm fooling with subjects that don't mean anything in terms of survival or nutrition or reproduction - it's just about space and color. I'm just interested in how we interpret the lie of dimensionality, how we'll sacrifice detail for intention, ascribe emotional state to color content, reassess our physical size to an implied perspective on a flat plane. I'm using high level radiosity to give these meshed illusions - no matter how ridiculous - the luminent versimiltude that cues our ability to distinguish between the "real" and the "represented" - and using it to tell spatial lies.

PS - who CARES if Mini Mouse's ears glow when backlit? This _is not_ going to make her any more or less "believeable" to me...
/mr Index PageDefining IllusionismLyrical Abstraction priorNext