Up-close drawing

My upclose drawing test

The process of drawing normally involves an artist observing his object or concept, formalize ideas by using his own logic to conceptualize his vision before actually putting his hands to work. While drawing, each line has its own purpose, showing one particular manifest on a certain idea. The act of drawing is sketching out the whole vision of on concept by giving the details to the overall canvas.

As in architecture, modern urban development is governed by straight lines. In the work of great architect such as Mies van der Rohe, the street, the rows of houses, the city should be laid in straight line. This Modernism concept of a man who walks in a straight line is a man who walks with purpose, with an end point in his mind and a straight line is the shortest, the simplest way of doing it. In contrast to the idea of the straight line, of the overall governance rules, Parametricism offer a localized approach to organized living.

“In a swarm individuals through their own local decision-making participate in larger actions and formations…Scientists such as Eric Bonabeau and Guy Theraulaz have been able to simulate the construction of termite mounds through simple algorithmic principles whilst the experimental design practice Kokkugia has also undertaken extensive research into the use of swarm-algorithms for the generative design of buildings.”[1]

Using this approach to recreate drawings, series of already established drawings represent a general collective idea, are grouped together, overlaid, intercepted, casted over each other to generate a composition of a concept. This collage then distracted, distorted and manipulated in way so that it is not governed by straight lines or any recognizable patterns. The first step of generating a conceptualized canvas is done.

The next step is putting hands to work while zooming in up close. The human perception reacts differently on the scale of an image. It constantly scans and seeks out familiar pattern and recognizable details of an object which is presented in front of our eyes. It could be a dragon in the clouds, a face in a bush or even God on the wall stain. It is so efficient that even though the tiny details do not specified any meaningful or related information of the bigger picture, we still able to recognize it based on the ratio and the relativity between components of the composition. Having mentioned this, in fact, if one zooms in up close an image, it would be impossible to understand what that image is about. The overall composition is broken apart into pixels and fragments of highlights and shadows in which put the brain logic to fault by not able to pinpoint any familiar patterns. This is the key to the thesis.

Instead of defining this faulty as a negative heuristics, it is considered as an alternative practice to recreating drawings. The second step involving zooming in up close to the previous generated composition, while letting the hands do its intention, the brain will govern it by examining the canvas in little details. Each pixel or fragmentation of highlights and shadows clutching together when viewing up close will give a totally different definition to the overall meaning of the canvas. While resisting zoom out of the canvas to try to understand the overall meaning as the brain will naturally do, keep zooming in while navigating through the whole image and looking at little clutches of details on the way will provide an innovative approach to re-generate the meaning of the canvas. The brain will use its intuition to link any familiarities it picks up on the way with all kinds of matters. A trail of dark belt could resembles a road and that the brain will dictate the hand to follow it until reaching the next familiar pattern, or an interlacing black and white area could resemble somewhat of a dune and from there the mind would imagine itself venturing through an unfamiliar desert. The experience of an artist tracing through every up close details will give him a collective concept while drawing. The final work might resembles the same overall images in terms of composition, ratio and relativity between components, however, each tracing detail has a totally different interpretation far from its original context.

Having done such practice would able scholar to have an innovative approach to adopt their concept. The common realization when looking at the new composition up close would be it the details make no sense. When combine with the restriction of no straight line, no realizable forms, the squiggling lines have absolutely no meaning to them. They are lines that are drawn with no purpose, no dictation on their creation. However, they are traces of the mind work processing through the new but old context of the canvas. These traces might make sense when the human brain formwork familiar itself with the technique.



[1] Robert Stuart Smith, Behavioural Production: A swarm-printed architecture, AA

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Brighton, United Kingdom