These are some documentation images of the process for creating the Terrain1 installation that will culminate April 24th at the SAIC MFA show.
It begins with culling, cropping and laying out photos i've taken of geological thin sections and saturated chemical crystals under the microscope, with polarized light. these were blown up into roughly 2ftx4ft panels, printed with UV-cured inks onto polystyrene panels, and then vaccumformed over some plaster molds. The plaster molds were made by taking the original imagery, feeding it into a program like Rhino and WorldMachine to get a heightfleld from its alpha or brightness, and then adjusted with erosion simulations and thermal weathering algorithms. These models were then brought back into rhino as high resolution meshes, laid out for milling, and split into halves, so that i milled two sheets of 2" thick foam, rather than 1 4" thick panel (depth constraints). The upper half of the split had the peaks, and the lower half the valleys. The upper half was milled with a false bottom about 1/8" thick so that the peaks would not dislodge and fly away. I took an exacto and cut carefully to get the pieces profiles, and then laminated the halves together, filled seams with wood putty, applied release agents, and then poured hydrocal, with glue mixed in for strength.
The notion is that these microscopic images bear a structural resemblance to the splitting and cracking of the image on top of the plastic. That there is a structural analogy between rock formation due to heat and pressure within the earth, and the materials and processes we use to fabricate, without.
since the printing turned out very dark in places, this increased the cracking and the images have become all but obliterated.
The next part of the piece is to project the original photographs back onto the panels, such that as the video fades slowly between white light and full color saturation, the viewer's attention will shift between the (macro) image and the (micro) surface imperfections. This effect of revealing and blurring of image is not unlike the act of bringing an image into focus under the microscope and returns the large wall piece back to a microscopic state. there are 24 panels at 2ftx4ft and will largely cover a 21x9ft wall. Installation photos to come.