JESSICA THAL MANN
MAKING & MEANING 2019
TABLE OF CONT ENTS 2
Project 01 BODY FORM 01.0 TRANSFORMATION 01.1 FORM 01.2 COMPOSE 01.3 MATERIALIZE 01.4 REPRESENT
4 8 12 16 18
Project 02 SURFACE & DEPTH 01.0 sTILL LIFE 01.1 relief 01.2 soft form 01.3 expanded form
24 28 32 38
Project 03 Final project
TRA NS FORM ATION Thalmann
I was interested in a simple interaction between two bodies that gradually changes its emotional valence as the movement repeats, inverts and folds in on itself. I filmed a seemingly aggressive act of two men pushing past one another as if on the street. The full body composition illustrates the larger movement of should and bodies pushing against one another accidentally then furiously pushed away once realizing the inadvertent intimacy. When reversed, the gesture of pushing away inadvertently become one of return as one body is reaching out for the other. The second torso composition goes closer focusing specifically on the carousel like movement of two should touching and swinging around each other. Here, the aggressive motion becomes more delicate, as if the two men were dancing.
FO R M Thalmann
I was interested in representing the figure in a seated twisting posture, creating a feeling of dynamism and movement in a static pose. I asked my model to sit (the stillness of a rested pose helps with the clarity and sharpness of the image) and twist at the torso, reminiscent of a classical Roman or Greek sculpture. I did two passes around the figure at a fixed focal length, making sure to expose the darker areas such as the pants/shoes properly. I also edited the images to bring down the highlights and get a rich image with detail and clarity. For m animation and closeups I focused on the hands, shoes, legs and arc of the back to create a static object that still feels as if it is moving.
COM PO SE Thalmann
The paintings of Giotto and Mantegna were used as a starting point to articulate dramatic, almost theatrical, compositions. When photographing, I intentionally photographs figures in postures that had a range of heights to create a set of triangular composition that used the picture plane to its best advantage; either compressing space between figures or creating an illusion of depth. I also drew on Jacques-Louis Davidâ€™s Neoclassical historical painting techniques of using space, especially in The Oath of the Horatii. I also made the decision to include the various ground arrangements to create and articulate a sense of space reaching out around the figures and ground them in reality.
MAT ERIAL IZE Thalmann
Reflecting on this experience of starting with a three dimensional body, flattening it by photographing its likeness, rendering those photographs into a 3D mesh model, and finally materializing that body is space with a gypsum powder-based 3D print is remarkable. My entire photo-based practice has been dealing with this line of inquiry using the poetics of space to understand spatial and pictorial relationships. Though I had always felt my artistic research had cross disciplinary boundaries from photography to architecture; this organic evolution into understanding the mediumâ€™s basic principles has enriched my understanding of the power of the image and space.
REP RESE NT Thalmann 18
Constructing a set of orthographic drawings that represent my digital model, I used a photograph of billowing sand in two densities as a texture map exploration of the 3-figure compositions that we created. Starting from digital Rhino models, we then printed small scale paper models and cut and folded them in various iterations of models that explored transforming a flat image into an object that takes up space..
STI LL LI FE Thalmann 24
We continued our digital compositional experiments in Rhino guided by questions that interrogated folding, unfolding, sectioning, joining, subtracting and manipulating physical and digital surfaces in order to achieve formal and phenomenological effects. Considering the relationship between an edge or crease in a physical model when solid and void play a role in the articulation of space. I was interested in creating monolithic space using only boxes and rectilinear shapes, to understand the multiplicity of outcomes when working with a limited set of shapes and parameters.
REL IEF Thalmann
I had the most difficulty making the transition and translation with this project as I moved from the digital space into reality using real materials such as paper. I had to redesign and reimagine my model so it could sit or stand comfortably on a surface or against the wall. I drew on ideas of a totem pole-like object where one surface was adorned and carved out in a relief with various extrusions and voids, again using only boxes and rectilinear forms and no curves, cones or cylinders. Photographing the model was an important part of the process, understanding how the subtle and more dramatic changes in lighting and mood affected the way the object communicated presence and absence.
This was the most conceptually and materially satisfying assignment in that we were attempting to re-articulate our previous Relief model by doubling its size and using a soft material such as tissue paper that actively acts against the forfinding and rigid shapes that the model entails. The problem of finding a method to seam or join each tissue paper surface to one another was an exciting challenge as I made several tests and created my own tape/adhesive using double sided tape and the tissue itself so that the model appears seamless with not masking tape or glossy/reflective tape surfaces. We also photographed the model with a series of colourful light interventions to activate the various ways a photograph can represent and shape object.
EX PAN DED FO RM Thalmann
I was eager to continue perfecting my 3D modeling skills by focusing on the craft while also exploring volume, ground, gravity and interiority The assignment will conclude with a discussion of the relationship of three-dimensional form, scale, texture and color. I was inspired by architect Daniel Libeskind in the ways he combines void and absence in his work. I wanted to achieve something similar and create a heavy solid object made of paper that occupied the most amount of space. Scaled to 28 x 24 x 16 inches in size, I wanted to contain the model to three boxes or rectangular elements that look like gems, geodes or faceted surface that one could walk underneath and around.
FIN AL PRO JECT Thalmann
The final project was an extension of our previous form with a few added gestures and spatial changes. I was interested in creating an object that sits on a fault line and appears to have a crack or schism running along the middle of the piece. Additionally, I squished or “scaled in 1 dimension” both halves of the object to emphasize a perceived distortion of space. My roguish texture mapping choice of a photograph presented a radical change to the assignment’s parameters but, as a photographer, I am particularly interested in the ways a flat indexical truthful object such as the photograph functions in diametrically opposite ways to the sculptural elements of a solid object. The cognitive dissonance of the various real and illusionary shadows and textures were the primary goal of the work. How can a photograph trick and distort reality, especially when it is depicting and by extension destabilizing, real space?
Jessica Thalmann SCI-Arc Making & Meaning Program Los Angeles, CA July 2019