My work is rooted in the idea that we experience consciousness through processes of biological abstraction that are echoed in computer vision algorithms and digital imaging techniques. In the body, different neurological pathways pull out specific pieces of visual information so they can be recombined with other sensory streams to create a cohesive image. Likewise, digital technology uses processes that are roughly analogous to these biological systems. Photographs taken by a digital camera are not complete records of the photons that hit the image sensor. Rather, they are the results of mechanical abstraction—only certain elements are captured and the gaps between them are filled in algorithmically. This interpolation between data points occurs with our perception of time as well; moving image technology is fundamentally based on the principle of persistence-of-vision, or our ability to perceive a sequence of static images displayed in quick succession as a single, continuous image. One of the goals of many of my pieces is to create a “thick slice of time,” or a compression of many moments into a single experience, as a means of exploring a broader range of temporal continuity. Performing this compression allows me to examine the way objects and environments exist continuously rather than moment-to-moment—a shape of time and space.
I collect data from my environment via 3D scanning tools like photogrammetry and depth cameras such as the Microsoft Kinect; I then manipulate the data through animation software such as Blender or After Effects. When working with depth video from the Kinect, I also use code that I have written in Processing and Python to isolate parts of each frame or convert the depth data into a sequence of 3D meshes. Finally, I take the recomposed fragments of digitized data and assemble them into short videos (usually two to six minutes in duration) for viewing on a large monitor or as a wall projection. I frequently also use audio that I have recorded from various environments, although not always from the same location as the 3D scan data. I do not focus on reproducing a given environment or series of moments in maximum detail; instead, I produce experiences that are drawn from physical reality at multiple points in space and time.