Tag Archives: perspective

This Is A True Story


Lessons of Darkness is a documentary on the Gulf War by Werner Herzog, beautifully shot with great aerial footage of the oil catastrophe


Following the overall topic of interest in ‘Exploding Moments’ and discussing the construction of an idea/event within the expanded ‘site’ of prolific footage, I am using the screen as a space to reverse-engineer the narrative of an event (the Gulf War). When I say ‘reverse-engineer’ it is understood from a non-linear narrative perspective.

The screen will provide the space for formatting the footage. The structure I have laid out for now is within divisions of a factor of 3. Vertically the groups are distinguish by ‘scale’ of footage; horizontally they are grouped by ‘perception’ or ‘view point’. screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-35

I am compiling footage (an ongoing process) from primary sources reporting the event, to films based on it or footage with unrelated subject matter but useful shots.

For now the key elements I am bringing together include:

1. Out-sourced footage

2. Physical Model of object and landscape (oil valve, desert and infinite landscape effect)

3. Digital model (a landscape piece of the desert with elements from the event/footage e.g. oil wells, ruins of large satellite dishes, oil lakes)

4. The Script and Storyboard (I am compiling pieces of text and audio files to go hand in hand with the narrative)screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-28

More importantly I am revisiting my Mulholland Drive Diamond to use the relationship between a dreamscape and factual realm of information as a non-linear narrative structure for my own footage. The aim is to refine the analysis and adapt the structure to my own storyboard.

Below is the beginning of story boarding of the opening: a sequence to introduce the ‘dreamscape’ as one of multiple footage screens observed by the an ‘agent’ and subsequently zooming into one to begin the narrative of the Gulf War. screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-20-26-41

Opening Scene: “The events depicted in this film took place in Kuwait during the First Gulf War in 1991.At the request of the survivors the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.”

Opening Text

The next steps are to continue the storyboard set up with select shots from the footage I’m gathering. Also plan the physical model to be constructed and start putting together a digital model of the landscape.

A reference useful to anyone interested in infinite mirror effects in general and two-way mirrors: Guillaume Lachapelle: Infinite Mirrors



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The Agents of Perception Management


Time and Scale are formatted within the 16:9 world of our screens making them an apparatus for exploding moments and managing their perception.

I began arranging screenshots and images to develop a story board and open a discussion focused on the techniques deployed: from the physical model as a simulation, a rendered model, drawings/mappings and the methods of recording different scales. The technique is something I plan to illustrate in the next video test I conduct. Also through the technique I start identifying agents and scales (whether from a soldier, ground texture, satellite views or drones etc) who all contribute to the explosion of the moment and the management of its subsequent perception.

storyboard_nz_02 storyboard_nz_03

Sharpening the argument:

What is also important to clarify is my position in terms of the overall direction. Although still at an infant stage, the project I find rests more on how proliferated information explodes a moment in time and scale. The way the information is later “managed” or “perceived” according to how “agents” weave into a narrative becomes an added area of interest.

What the overarching question should avoid is a discussion on the fake versus the real or simulations etc.  Deception is to me different to something fake or indeed a simulation.

Hence the focus is on this idea of “managing perception” as an apparatus for building up anticipation that will then begin to be subverted shattering the linear relationships that the different pieces of footage might establish between each other and the viewer. It is also important to note that I decided to eliminate the frame between the footage to allow for “spillage” and moments of confusion to develop as the narrative breaks down. 

The content, for now, remains within the Gulf War.


Working with the 16:9 frame and shaping a flexible footage space

Identifying the Agents:

An Agent – the “actor” within the narrative and the one responsible for exploding the moment (be it from recording footage, managing its construction, or viewing it)

1. Informants/Footage Collectors

2. Footage Processors – Perception Managers

3. Receptors – Display

The next step is to continue refining the story board and start bringing in physical and digital versions of the event and incorporate them as footage within the narrative.


Above, Fargo Season 2, used the split-screen as a technique to relate events and build up to moments. Sometimes it becomes interesting where there is an overlap or bleed between the screens.

The emmy winning music video by Slayer titled “Eyes of the Insane” relates to the second Gulf War as a topic. What I find interesting is the shooting choice of using a soldiers pupil to reflect imagery he perceives but more importantly how some of those events escalate and we experience a gradual effect on the surroundings of the eye (some more expected than others like when an explosion occurs).

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Architecture of the unexpected

In the Wonderbox you are looking at a scene: what you see is determined (framed) by the aperture. You think you know what to expect inside of the box because you can see and measure it’s exterior, trusting your eyes you form an idea about what lies beyond the four walls of the box. Inside the architect is the director, the interior is a world of manipulated and unknown. It is like being transported into a different dimension but only through the eye, the aperture is the path.

The Wonderbox is as a play with three acts. After act 1 the world inside the box seems one way, but when seen from a different perspective, your perception is changed.


Act 1, the fire

Act 2 throws off your preconceived notions of the scene, the previous becomes known as illusion.

Act 2, the building is a model

Act 2, the building is a model

After seeing act 2 your perception of the scene evolves as more information has been added.

Act 3, the reveal

Act 3, the reveal

Once again your perception of the inside world is upended and all has been revealed to be a ruse.

The potential finale of the play can be the following:

Act 4, perception from inside the box

Act 4, perception from inside the box

Some of the tools through which architecture of the unexpected can happen are:

  • framing (aperture)
  • distance (proximity)
  • lighting
  • perspective manipulation (forced perspective)

Next topics to look at are how to transform the box and investigate further into these tools.


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The Agency of Perception Management

KuwaitFires_NASABelief, anticipation and narrative interruptions – focusing on the technique of constructing a scenario using the screen space and the relationships between the different images/pieces of footage shown.  The aim is to further develop this process and construct the technique (for now populating it with the Gulf War scenario).

“Perception Management” was pioneered in the 1980’s under the Reagan administration in order to avoid the public opposition to future wars that was seen during the Vietnam War.

The United States Department of Defense defines perception management as:

Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations, security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.

Burning oil field, Ahmadi Oil Fields, Kuwait, 1991

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Exploding Moment: Narrative perspectives

“… artistic gratification of a sense of perception altered by technology. This is evidently the consumption of l’art pour l’art. Humankind, which once in Homer, was an object of contemplation for the Olympian gods, has now become one for itself. Its self alienation has reached the point where it can experience its own annihilation as a supreme aesthetic pleasure. Such is the aestheticising of politics”

Walter Benjamin, Kunstwerk essay, 1936


The quote alludes to perhaps a further progression into a project and development of my position on expanding moments. With the amount of information and the technology through which it is experienced, all these narratives and their interaction with the viewers are increasingly non-linear both in terms of time and space. It is also interesting how Benjamin makes a parallel between the homeric apparatus of “Olympian God-view” that Manolis also referenced as a device in the Illiad has transformed, through our technological experience of events, into an aesthetic experience for everyone.

In essence from the body and it’s prosthetic footage receivers (phones etc), the home and the city we are all simultaneously in a mount Olympus space.

As a work in progress, the overall setup for my second test is ready to burn! Stay tuned for the video that is to come out of it.

img_8689 img_9760

I am in the process of conducting the second test, exploring the idea of exploding a moment through its staging, the way the footage is captured and later to be formated for viewing. This set up is larger in scale but more importantly the views are set up to represent potential “characters” or narrative perspectives that I intend to use to start exploring different narrative effects when the footage is composed together.

For instance, below are the views from an iPad and iphone setup. The former is an almost aerial view of the “fields” or landscape within the Kuwait oil fire scenario. The latter view is a bottom-up ground view, capturing the “ground troop/journalist” effect. The case study of the War and the fires are at the moment a prop for me to explore the techniques I am using and the way I want to set up a narrative and design around the overall ideas of proliferated footage and the way we access/view a project through it.




A fish-eyed view will record the burning from a drone-like position while a God-eye of the entire process will record me coordinating the simulated oil field fires.

Following what was discussed last time, below are methods of formating footage I am currently looking into as well as some general references of how the project can progress beyond the specific scenario of the Gulf War as a case study.

Hierarchy and formating:


An app called mosaic.io (that sadly was pulled from the app store) would allow multiple ios devices to be tiled together. In this example the screen size and position becomes a narrative device/apparatus for exploding the moment. It also plays with the surface of the table since the viewing is predominantly done by laying the screens out flat.

Visual Hierarchy:


In the Eames IBM pavilion the interesting aspect of the formating is that it becomes more hierarchical in visual terms with the screen positions, angles and dimensions as well as the sound used as methods of driving the narrative.

Audio Hierarchy:


In the film Timecode (which I got half way through with a lot of patience and concentration; alas it became too overbearing to finish in one go) The narrative hierarchy was established through sound, as the means by which to focus on corresponding grid areas.

Dividing Screens:

Finally the acappella youtube videos Natasha referenced are something I find interesting as a starting point, mazes that can turn into labyrinth depending with the narrative progression. In the video above the focus is shifted by the grids activated and deactivated according to whether it’s bass, lead vocals etc. but the overall composition seams to lack hierarchy because of the consistent grid. A potential break could be to overlap or expand events in some grids to adjacent ones etc. Below another similar video has a central focus on the lead vocals.

Spatial Speculation on the narrative effects of footage manifesting architecturally:

tumblr_mmen8fkamd1rw4t5ro1_1280 errc3b3-american-interior-no-9-1968-mumok-vienna  The American Interiors series of 1968 by Erró 

Domestic space does not have to be the focus at the moment but this is an example that came to mind of how certain spaces (here the vietnam war) are brought into others (the american home) by the media and the tv set. Today the process is much more complex with the invasive nature of footage not as straight forward as a simple ‘media to viewer’ relationship; and also the spaces are expanded way beyond the home, as televisions have been replaced by increasingly more mobile sources of footage.

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The Frame and The Room

Looking at the notion of the single image, I tried to test the compression of space and time into a fixed frame. I’m looking at how could the image show a 360 view without creating a distortion. This could perhaps be the achieved through selective deletion or subtraction from the image, as opposed to superimposition/density/distortion.

What is the capacity of the image? How could it represent time? how could the image show traces of previous versions? do we need to ‘adjust the canvas size’? do we need to ‘crop’?

The b&w vs. colour in the video is inspired by Memento, where b&w represents another timeline, which then blurs with the ‘actual’ timeline and alters it.

The following two images and gif show an impossible space in which the four faces of a box are laid out in a perspective view, leaving the box open from one side.





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Been reading up on the art and science on perspective in order to have it define (or maybe refine) my intentions with the project, with the questions addressed in the recon and the drawing in hindsight. Now is back to APP, and Sunday will be a HTS day!

“People do not organise or fight for something, but they organise to fight against something.”
–Gerald Silver (quoted from “The Seduction of Place”, by Joseph Rykwert)

What is the horizon line? It is the main equivalent and representation
of an infinite production, which does not curve, since the horizon itself
(in the drawing, not in reality) is infinite and can thus be magnified
to an infinite degree. It is the camera which sets the limit, like the eye did
in the days before physical reproduction. The office is the factory, and the collective
within the factory works towards a common goal from multiple views.
Thus, the perspective begins in the anti-horizon, and cannot end in the horizon
as this indicates that there can be only one result to the office; all forms converge
into one position, one output, one product. The infinity of the horizon is replaced
by its all-encompassing flatness and “line-ness.” What begins as a difference ends up
in monotony; we have to replace the horizon, we have to eradicate, and eventually draw
an office which is finite but indeterminate, which does not end in this line, but
at the same time, starts from the same conditions; we are all standing in the “now”, and
a movement does not begin in the call for the same solution, but in addressing
*the same question.*
When we agree on a problem, we are united, and the conflict
that arises is a conflict of solutions – but as long as the problem is clearly stated
we can use arguments (aimed for the mind or the heart) to decide
upon the best direction forward. The “issue” is magnified into a “rationale”;
as we’ve been forced to abandon the movements of the past, we now have to embrace
the movement of the present, which has, as its core, the sureness of the now – we speak
of a “point of departure” as much as a “rallying point”; the focus here is, needless to say
on “point.” How do we draw this? How do we model it? How can the issue
of representation ever begin to reach the same level of discussion that we see
in the difficulty in proceeding ahead despite not choosing to create a project
according to principles set out by a contemporary precedent? If we are forced
to only refer to the now as our movement (in that people come together to fight
against something, rather than for something), how do we interpret the now if we are
solely constricted by the past? This is a fallacy; the past does not exist – it has existed.
We do not employ the past in deciding on our reaction to the present, because
that reaction is the only thing we have. We are stuck in the present, because we *are*
the present. Here, again, we return to the “now” of the representation:
it resembles something, because it is, in itself, the capacity of the now to be distorted.
Wear a pair of shades for a week, and you will be blinded by the light once you
take them off. The architectural factory, therefore, is turned on its head;
it begins in the product (the now), and eventually establishes its output
in multiple readings of architecture, the difference of which keeps
the movement together, precisely because we agree on the departure point.
If the departure point is the office, the change in perspective thus changes
the office as well. The issue, here, is that the office must change.

To change the use of perspective, we have to change the medium through which
the perspective finds its application, which is the flat canvas. A vanishing point
reaches its logical conclusion because it is conditioned by the flatness to apply
to certain rules, which do not provide drawing with the liberation we seek
but rather forces it to adhere to certain rules in order to be deemed correct;
but the inappropriateness is the very saving grace of the drawing versus the render
because before the computer, it was a craft to pick a certain view and render it
on vellum with the appropriate distances; but one can argue that the breakdown
of the hand-drawn perspective began far earlier, with the invention of the camera
the artificial lens. Before the camera, the eye alone dictated the possibility
and appropriateness of perspective; what we saw was correct and already
so perfectly aligned to what we see, that the purpose of art became what we
would later term “photorealism”; it became “vision”; the drawing was forced
to show not what the eye could see for itself, but what it could’ve seen
*if* it was present in the specific situation rendered
by the neoclassicist’s brush movements. Now, we’re living
in the age where the photograph and the render seem to open up
such unending possibilities that radically alter our perception of the world
that we dismiss the limitations that follow with every mathematical program
(which *demands* logic). The substantially shortened time it takes
to achieve near-photorealism, where all lines converge exactly as they should
has killed the manipulative (hand-drawn) perspective; to substitute this loss
we invented Photoshop. If the sky is not dark enough, we filter it. If the image
doesn’t reveal enough, we merge it with another. We cut in happy people
and flocks of birds until we have something that *appears* to be real, but isn’t.
Reality is boring. Much like the Dolly Zoom or the green screen, the architectural project
is distinguished from the architectural product in that it doesn’t allow for reality
to simply be reality – in that sense, the architecture of the pen, of the sketch
or of the render, all have in common the fact that they are not true; such fakeness
is magnified by the potential of the illusion; it forces our means of representation
to account for our definition of the architect in the office. The office changes
as the perspective of the architect changes. The foreshortening of perspective is akin
to the approach of drawing things as they appear, not things as they are, and are
therefore calling into question the idea of the office-representation versus things
as they are perceived. The drawing that displays its inhabitants at a scale “not realistic”
is perhaps more realistic than The Last Supper, which is not concerned
with reality per se, but with an ideal representation of that reality.

The architectural factory breaks the parallelism of the factory, out of the need
to define, in the factory, what makes a parallel line; any two lines which *paper-wise*
are not parallel can converge into a parallelism of the illusion. It is when the third line
is drawn, when it establishes another vantage point, that the perspective evolves;
it ends up not in chaos, but in a system of making oblique objects be perceived as parallel
to each other. When we *think* that what we see is the truth, when we *trust*
the drawing to a sufficient degree, we will accept the near-ideal placement
of objects as true, or true-enough. It should surprise no-one that the reality
of the singular architect in the office is found in the illusion of the drawings he produces.
No wall-construction nor door-moulding is ever true, but they are used
as transpositions (translations) of that which will become true: the architectural product.
The project, on the other hand, is entirely fictional, but does not gain the ability
to convince us on this merit; on the contrary, having been exiled from the world
the project must find its way back again, by the means
of research, precision and sound assumptions. It has to come back
to the “now” which it has left in order to proclaim the future. The best of projects
are those which convince us that they could indeed be built next day, given that they
have already been accepted by us, the architects. There is an entire parallel world
in the project, an otherworld which acts as the more exalted version of thisworld
while still being subordinated to this. Just like a line on the paper “somewhat” follows
the establishment of a vantage point, what would happen if the vantage point
*began to move*? This runs contrary to the movement of our body, but not
the movement of our eye. Everytime the eye moves, a new vantage point
is established, and the lines converging into it are shifting location, not angle.
It does indeed run contrary to common sense: it is the eye that moves, not the world.
But, in truth, the thing that is moving is our view of the world, our mental picture
whose very acquaintance with our way of looking is perceived as perfectly normal.
Either the world moves, or the eye moves, we say, but what happens
when we experience both? Will the nature of the world be more readily described
as a floating point? If there are only three directions available
to the 3D-modelling program, does it set the limit of the number of points
to which an object can converge? Certainly not, the xyz-indicator is merely
a mathematical invention; it has nothing to do with perspective. The means
of representation can emerge as project-creating, in themselves.

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Some perspective tests

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