Light Painting Documentation


Visual of What I showed the class

The title of my pieces is the Tamara Fragments. What started off as science visualizations using 3D light sculptures transformed into a novel way of searching through journal entries using keywords. While the theme contrasts greatly, through the eyes of post-modernism they are not too different. In the individual, science, the accumulation of facts on the physical world, is stored as neural connections in the brain or linguistically speaking, as thoughts and memories. Journal entries contain thoughts on one person’s life events, an external memory bank, a collection of papers in a book. Both science and journals record facts, the results of experimentation or the course of events in a day and interpretations. The medium used, light painting stayed the same. This medium was chosen specifically for its aesthetic value and its symbolism. Light is intangible, transitive and metaphorically is significant “to shed light on” something. Light painting is a message that reveals itself through the longtime exposure of a camera. It captures what can not be seen in an instant but instead over time. The 3D aspect, which did not materialize in the final project, was to unify the virtual with the physical world. We perceive our surroundings in 3-dimensions, however the computer screen only shows us 2-dimensions. By creating the illusion of 3-dimensions on the screen the mind would intuitively understand a 3-dmensional world within the computer and be able to relate what is seen into their environment. This mental jump would make understanding science visualizations easier, to interpret what is seen on the screen as what exists in the physical realm. However, due to unimpressive results, I opted to show a complete 2-dimensional project over an under-developed 3-dimensional project.

The piece is a development of our first project, data portrait. It is a data visualization that takes ideas from the XML lecture and Golan Levin’s piece the Dumpster. The piece operates by searching journal entries for keywords (innocence, strength, commitment, wounded, and possessed) and pulling out and displaying the sentences with those words. This is a mirror process to Online Data Mining, which uses processing to search data in an XML document and pull out the data and visualize it. Levin does this searching through Twitter and creates selectable bubbles in a sketch. The Tamara Fragments does this as well, except that instead of a bunch of bubbles on a screen they are mind bubbles in the air.

The piece was created using portrait and long-exposure photography, and processing. The portrait was used to put a face of the journal entries and create a narrative: a journal lies in front of a girl who appears to be staring off into space where levitating orbs wait to be selected. The long-exposure was used to capture the path of a moving LED as it wrote out the keywords in the air. Processing was the virtual canvas that united all the raw elements: photographs, characters, shapes, colors and opacity. As an added figurative dimension, the sketch is password protected as a symbol of the confidentiality of its contents. The piece is seen using the computer and asks for one-person viewing.

You can view the piece, the Tamara Fragments, here and the password is: self
Below are some of the preliminary visualizations of my piece. Thank you Tyler Webb for doing the photography.

Prelimiary Visualization of the piece

A preliminary visualization of the piece