sean mcalister
@jason bruges studio @project context @matzine @musarc @meta architecture

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31 January 2010

ganzfeld effect
27 January 2010

the ganzfeld effect (from german for “complete field”) is a phenomenon of visual perception caused by staring at an undifferentiated and uniform field of color. the effect is described as the loss of vision as the brain cuts off the unchanging signal from the eyes. the result is "seeing black" - apparent blindness.
[wikipedia sourced]

arctic blizzard white-out
at sea on a new moon
going to the bathroom in the middle of the night
spending eight hours in the local anechoic chamber
...rarely does one experience the ganzfeld in nature

light's dark brother

light's dark brother 
"photography, it is said, is writing with light"
andre laude, 1989

"the architecture of our time is turning into the retinal art of the eye. architecture at large has become an art of the printed image fixed by the hurried eye of the camera"
juhani pallasmaa, 1994

"it is only through light and shadow that architecture acquires shape"
ingeborg flagge, 2002

used sump oil
25 January 2010

richard wilson with used sump oil

viewed from the entrance platform 20:50 appears as a holographic field: simultaneously a polished floor, infinite clear pool, an expansive and indefinable virtual space that clinically absorbs and mirrors the gallery architecture. the room is in fact entirely flooded in oil.
- saatchi gallery excerpt

balka beckett + minkowski
20 January 2010

miroslaw balka talking about turbine hall exhibition.

 reminds me of eugene minkowski's description of dark space in 1933,
"mystery - if we can use an image here - is like a somber and unknown night which envelops us completely; it is also like dark space, homogeneous, infinite, such as we have before us when we close our eyes."

                                                      le temps vecu: etudes phenomenologiques et psychopathologiques

i wish miroslaw referenced more people than beckett. although, good choice balka.

more video at tatetube



hiroshi sugimoto and me.
          suigmoto's long exposures in north american cinemas.
he says the exposure lasts the length of the durathe film
                                 but what tricks are he playing with? tight aperature, slow film?
                                                                                                                                   ohio theatre, ohio 1980

steve mcqueen
17 January 2010

perhaps this is a technically simple trick of the camera. however i'm inclined to believe these images to be floating in nothingness. why does the obscurity of depth mesmerise my mind like nothing else?


16 January 2010

"darkness is not the mere absence of light; it has some positive quality. whereas bright space disappears, giving way to the material concreteness of objects, darkness is "thick"; it directly touches a person, enfolds, penetrates, and even passes through him. thus the "self is permeable to the dark but not to the light"; the feeling of mystery we experience at night probably stems from this."
roger caillois, 1935, the edge of surrealism: a roger caillois reader, p101

"since dark space enfolds me from all sides, and penetrates me much more deeply than does bright space, the role played by the inner/outer distinction and thus by the sensory organs as well [insofar as they enable external perception] is quite minimal"
eugene minkowski, 1933, etudes phenomenologiques et psychopathologiques

i have a sense that my area of academic research is expanding at a quicker rate than i can ultimately fully grasp in time for my thesis submission. at roughly the same moment, i suspended this thought in favour of reckless and altogether self-indulgent investigation.

revi ew
12 January 2010

i had a review, in december, of my design thesis to date.
here are some sampled comments raised in the discussion, and my reflection on them.

"you're not interested in light, you're interested in the representation of light..." andrew clancy
considering my visual presentation, i think clancy makes an insightful conclusion here. while i always expected the representation of light to form a large part of my thesis, i haven't to date considered it the focus of my studies. i can imagine that the strength of this masters thesis may rest largely on how well i communicate particular notions concerning light.
on the representation of light. it occurs to me that in drawing light i'm attracted to scenes of high [wide] contrast; and the boundaries where white light and deep black meet. it's at these boundaries that i form a sense of material and volume of light, or in some cases the space that light excludes. i find some similarity in anthony mccall's projections; smoke diffused rooms express the geometry and nature of the intersecting, space defining blades

"...and the unexpected secondary effect - texture" andrew clancy
i've considered the material qualities i inevitably invoke when representing light and space in one of my etched plates; a rough, coarsely textured surface for black and the rather polished perfection of intense area's of light. although i need not explain that light isn't attributed with qualities synonymous with matter, i find it increasingly useful to transpose descriptions of the ethereal and the material.

"if i came in and didn't listen to you speak i would think your work was about darkness" david sutherland
simply put, light and dark are two aspects of the singular phenomenon. i refrain from dedicating my work in this way and instead ascribe a desire to control and restrict illumination to the prevalent atmosphere of my prints and drawings. in one sense the darkness in the scenes is an aesthetic and somewhat psychological exercise to narrate the story. however i have found that through restricting incidental light a more tightly controlled experiment in light is the product.


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