Saturday, August 3, 2013

Relief Mesh Extrusions Based on Moses Hacmon's Faces of Water

Of all of the places that I've gone to and, all of the people whom I've met, in all of the time that I've been, Burning Man is beyond so much of what I had previously fathomed. Fascinating folks from one end to the other, like a universe of spheres within spheres, born from inner circles. In the spirit of splendid behaviours, it is a most exquisite flower forever unfolding.

Last year, among my many beautiful camp mates, I had the pleasure of Getting to know Moses Hacmon. Moses is a collaborative artist, photographer and architect from Israel. His most recent artistic endeavors revolve around a serious of photographic works titled "Faces of Water". Moses has captured something within this substance, of which we are all mostly made and, has brought forward details and nuances that have been hitherto unknown. Within his miraculous photos I find an inner spirit or writhing rhythms and relative comparative kinetic dynamics.
A couple of days ago, Moses had posted a new image from "Faces of Water" on Facebook. Upon my seeing it I was once again blown away. I immediately commented that 3d meshes could be extruded from the photography so as to create relief panels, thus bringing the work into an even more sculptural context. In my mind, I saw walls of water, frozen at room temperature yet still in possession of their flowing, fluid splendor. Words weren't enough. I had to build a model to see for myself.

I brought one of Mozes's photos into Zbrush as a gray scaled alpha mask and extruded it through the face of a cube comprised of 16,000,000 polygons. The resulting topologies were as startling as they are gorgeous. What started out as a single sample swiftly became six as I found myself compelled to fill the cube's five remaining naked planes.

If these extruded surfaces were printed through stereo lithography or, multiple other means of rapid prototyping technology, they could be applied to vast varieties of architectural contexts. In this it would be possible to read the microcosms of fluid dynamics though one's finger tips. The materials that these surfaces could be cast as spans the gambit from glass, metals, ceramics to varieties of plastics that could be optically clear to densely opaque. They could even be cast in ice, which in a way intrigues me the most as it would be a means of seeing water through water.

All of the mesh extrusions in this experiment were pulled though single alpha masks. While the resulting surfaces seem rich with detail, they could be much further enhanced, especially in terms of roll and rollick by applying multiple masks to each relief with different exposures. Done correctly, these forms would billow more closely to the sublime gradients and deep contrasts of Mose's miraculous explorations.

In the frequencies of this veritable mountain range's topology, I'm immediately reacquainted with the fluid dynamics that govern and shape what we generally perceive to be an immobile Earth's crust. In truth, our planet's surface is a ripple that has never stopped and, never will, till it's sucked into the sun like a droplet.

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