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

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exposure pi'ed
28 February 2010

for a long time had i forgotten that the entire film strip used in a camera is photosensitive, and not isolated to a 35mm bias. using a holga medium format camera, with a 35mm film, i was able to cast an image across the entire strip. despite the perforations on the film, a certain portion of image is discernible at the top and bottom.

this medium format camera allowed me to control, roughly, how far along i scrolled the film before i snapped another picture. i wanted to try overlapping some pictures. i had mixed success. in principle i found that alternating, or being even more creative, with the mix of light and dark scenes mixed the best photographs on the negative.

this minor experiment was worthwhile, if only to conclude something quite simple about how cameras, and their films, work.


a recent discovery for me has been the ultra-high resolution scanners in the media labs of duncan of jordanstone. they are specially designed to scan film positives and negatives. i decided to push what 'ultra-high' actually means. it means 19200 dots per inch.

reference point = the majority of digital cameras record pictures at 72dpi

finding questions
24 February 2010

do we need to see in order to feel darkness?

how much light do people need in order to live, and how much darkness?

are there things we can experience only in dark, shaded places, in the darkness of night?

is it even possible to imagine things without light?

is there such a thing as bad light?

what do we want to illuminate, and how long for?

can we see something without interacting with it?

euclid's tomb
15 February 2010

euclid's tomb: "euclid's body really shouldn't be at the origin of everything; the big point, but there we are"

this is my own fictitious quote. my latest etching plate, and consequent plates, are the consequence of  my under-exercised obsession with étienne-louis boullée's cenotaph to sir isaac newton. notionally i've set this monolithic space station at the centre of the universe - a hypothetical spatial constant. this narrative is not necessarily to supersede another reading of the image

object limits
13 February 2010

where is the limit of an object?
is it the boundary of its form?
is it the shadow it casts?
is it an experience of the object?
is it those uninterrupted quanta of light that escape our solar system?

this question really only tests what we might mean by 'limit' but studying the idea of boundary, periphery and edge - as much as object and presence et al - has a hints at something of importance to my thoughts on architecture right now.

in asking questions of 'limit', i have a clue that it may be useful to begin by searching for the essence of a thing

fourth and fifth
7 February 2010

recently i was handed the chance to display my 4th year and current 5th year drawings side-by-side. i must admit that it was strange to see my work as a time-line, or a progress bar, and in many ways i was upset that my current work didn't yet compete with the images from 4th year. however, i feel validated in my current obsession with [space and object as revealed through light]

on a side note, i wonder what my blog would contain [or what the contents would feel like] had i began it a year previous... does the blog, or the act of blogging affect ones work?

 hopefully a rhetorical question


[an ulbricht sphere measures diffused light in manners i don't fully understand]


illuminance = lumens / metre2

the salient difference between illumination and radiance is that illumination considers the power of light in relation to the sensitivity of the human eye at various wavelengths.

brightness on the other hand seems to be illuminance's subjectified sibling - the gauge of which rests tentatively on perceptions shoulders

an ulbricht sphere measures diffused light in manners i don't fully understand


designed by sean