Drawing-based works created using a highly technical, involved process based on photogrammetry.
Photogrammetry is used to generate 3D models of physical objects from photographs – images of the object are taken from multiple angles, which are then stitched together in software by estimating the coordinates of overlapping points. Originally developed as military mapping technology, it now has applications in a number of disciplines – for example, recording artifacts for archaeology, and building environments for video games. The process depends on principles of computer vision that are easily confused by ambiguity in the source photographs, such as unusual reflections. The initial models produced by this technique usually require manual post-processing to be made useful, as they are almost always “glitched” to some degree – the model appears disintegrated, or conversely, the model is occluded by involuntary forms. The errors made by the software can be viewed not as mistakes, but as honest observations of the eye of computer vision – an eye that is sensitive to different stimuli than the human eye, perceiving forms that do not correspond to our version of reality.
In an ongoing investigation, I have been applying photogrammetry to create drawings of plants, while embracing the software’s tendency to glitch. The works themselves are 2D projections of a 3D mesh, which are then drawn on paper using a computerized pen plotter. I have also been experimenting with incorporating the cyanotype photographic printing process into these works.
I am approaching this process as a digital analogue to traditional observational drawing, with particular reference to the intensity of observation practiced in botanical illustration, wherein the human eye, mind, and hand must integrate to convert a 3D physical object into a 2D representation. Photogrammetry is a reflection of this – the software extracts and interprets data from multiple 2D photographs of an object to generate a 3D model, the mesh of which can then be projected back into two dimensions and drawn.