form space

is there behind our solid world, a space of ghostly, translucent, floating forms?

simple forms can be used to represent abstract concepts concerning the relationship between form and substance. if form is the shape of an object and substance is the volume and texture, then can one exist without the other? In our everyday lives, do we perceive either unity or separation? can separating the two in a painting or photograph help us understand the difference between the world around us and our perception of it?

form space is a series of photographs of lego bricks arranged on a flat surface. the photos were processed and composite images created, so that the forms of the lego become ghostly, translucent, floating.

noise removal was done manually, pixel by pixel. during this process, details showing the noise (black pixels) were saved as an image series in its own right, because i started to see the tiny black bricks of noise as beautiful and meaningful as the image from which they were being extracted.

form space 1

form space 1
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

form space 4

form space 4
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

form space 5

form space 5
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

form space 7

form space 7
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

form space noise 17

form space noise 17
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

form space noise 33

form space noise 33
2007
digital c-type print, 30 x 40 cm

in spending so much time at the pixel level of an image, i realised that every pixel had as much right to be there as any other; the noise is as valid as the signal. so where does that leave our pictures, when their equality with random noise is made visible? and is this noise really random, or are there connections between the noise and the conceptual space of the image which still remain hidden?

this project is inspired by the idea of fundamental forms (the Platonic ideal) and the ways in which the nature of forms can be explored in photographs; is it possible to peel away the layers of forms until there is almost nothing left – and is it possible that at some point in this uncovering/reduction process we might arrive at a stage that perfectly describes the true nature of a form? if we take an image and progressively sample and re-sample it, or distort it, at what point does it loose it’s recognisable identity and become something purely abstract?

perhaps what exists in reality cannot be visualised in terms of fundamental parts, but instead can only be understand in terms of transformation, how something changes into something else whilst retaining some kind of common identity / archetypal symbolism. if we imagine that there are many layers to the material world (in terms of scale, materiality, form etc) and that they all exist together simultaneously as a unified reality, how does this tally with the way we actually perceive things? how does our perception that we have a permanent identity (perhaps akin to a soul) correspond to our recognition that at the same time everything is in a state of flux and transformation from one state to another?

the Platonic ideal of forms

the idea of fundamental forms and the ways in which the nature of forms can be explored in photographs; is it possible to peel away the layers of forms until there is almost nothing left – and is it possible that at some point in this uncovering/reduction process we might arrive at a stage that perfectly describes the true nature of a form? if we take an image and progressively sample and re-sample it, or distort it, at what point does it loose it’s recognisable identity and become something purely abstract?

emergent properties

complex systems and patterns can arise out of a many simple objects interacting; these complex systems will display features that we can see and measure, but at the same time they are not visible when we look for them in the component parts of the system (common examples of this are the flocking behaviour of colonies of bacteria or large groups of birds). perhaps what we experience and perceive of the world is a set of emergent properties, in which case, what are the component parts?

objects vs relations

perhaps what exists in reality cannot be visualised in terms of fundamental parts, but instead can only be understand in terms of transformation, how something changes into something else whilst retaining some kind of common identity / archetypal symbolism. if we imagine that there are many layers to the material world (in terms of scale, materiality, form etc) and that they all exist together simultaneously as a unified reality, how does this tally with the way we actually perceive things? how does our perception that we have a permanent identity (perhaps akin to a soul) correspond to our recognition that at the same time everything is in a state of flux and transformation from one state to another?

(2007)