Sunday, August 18, 2013

Building Study

I was looking through some old photos this week and I came across this panorama of an alley off of Devon Ave. in Chicago. This study, showing the overlaps and the uneven edges of the source photographs, was constructed quickly to test an idea and preview a potential panorama. I have been constructing panoramas in photoshop for years now, and I have some skill doing so. Now that every iPhone has a photographic panorama maker bundled in its software, it forces me to ponder the arguments for making imagery in this format. The horizontal proportion in art making has always seemed natural to me, as if this is the way I most often view the world. I happened to be walking the dog when I came upon this facade, and walking could be described as a horizontal experience. My background in architecture leads me to look at buildings and facades critically, and I'm particularly interested in architecture that derives from function more than 'design'. Hence my fascination with walls like this one; it expresses a  practical use of the building in a way that does not have much to do with proportions, materials or beauty.  It strikes me that there is a collaging aspect to architecture that becomes evident in mundane buildings - a window where needed, conduit here, a vent there. This idea of architectural collage is mirrored nicely in the collaging of the photographs that make up a panorama. By not hiding the overlaps and not cropping the edges, this photograph declares itself as a 'hand-made' digital image.

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