Research Discussion

If you can have a quick read over this page to pick up the salient points, I understand some of these terms may be alien to you if they are not relevant to your own practice, so I have attempted to define any terms along the way to try an make things easier for all.

I will post a few sentences for each section with photos and then pose a few questions for discussion, these are questions I have been asking myself, so I don’t have all the answers. 🙂 I see this an an opportunity to get some key constructive feedback from you that may answer and clarify some of these issues and ideas for me, and maybe open up other avenues for me to explore at a later date.

Project Proposal

This quote below is from my Project Proposal.

I have been increasingly drawn to the world of 3D scanning and 360 video. I find scanned 3D objects and 3D objects quite beautiful and wish to explore the unfurled textures, meshes and wireframes that make up the very essence of the 3D object…I am searching for the essence of each thing/object and I will attempt to imbue these entities with real meaning through screen and physical manifestation.

Research Paper

The title of my research paper was The 3D object and its shadow aspect and the abstract is below.

In Jungian psychology, the shadow also called the ‘shadow aspect’ alludes to the unconscious part of a persons personality which the conscious ego does not readily identify in itself. Because we reject the least desirable aspects of our personality, the shadow is often perceived as negative, although there are positive creative aspects which also can remain hidden in one’s shadow. I will explore the correlation between Jung’s theory and the thing/3D object, arguing that dormant things and the unfurled ‘textures/meshes/wireframes’ of the 3D object are shadow aspects. I will concentrate on two specific works, (1) ‘Mark Leckeys: GreenScreenrefrigeratorAction Part 1’ and (2)’Andrew Thomas Huangs; Hyperskins. The thing/3D object in its ‘solid state’ is the conscious mind (presence), the dormant thing and the unfurled textures/meshes /wireframes are the ‘shadow self’ (absence). By exploring the school of thought of Object-oriented ontology I will attempt to imbue these entities with real meaning and show that non-human things or objects can exist in a certain fashion that lies outside our own anthropocentric idea of consciousness.

Keywords: Shadow, Object, Things, Presence, Absence, Being, Object-Orientated Ontology, Consciousness.

During my research I also encountered Object-oriented ontology (OOO), its a school of thought that rejects the privileging of human existence over the existence of nonhuman objects, but more of that later.


As its not feasible to have video links here and also have a proper discussion, I have taken screen grabs with a link to the video if you wish to view it later.

#1 – Absence & Presence

As mentioned in my research paper Mark Leckey’s piece ‘GreenScreenRefrigeratorAction Part 1’ interested me as he is trying to give a plaintive voice to the object, the thing. There is a strange kind of brutal pathos in the thought of an object trying to find its voice in the world of humans and sentient beings.

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Video: Mark Leckey: Green Screen refrigeration Part 1

It basically comprises of a video of a Samsung fridge and various other objects standing on a green screen infinity cyc backdrop in their default dormant state. The fridge and other appliances are then coaxed it into revealing their thoughts and actions by Leckey, who imbides some gas coolant and dons a green screen cloak in apparent sympathy with them. The fridge sings back a kind of mournful plainchant: “See, see, see we assemble. See we assemble. See we assemble; Samsung, Viking, Gaggenau and Whirlpool …”

Discuss: What do you understand by the terms Absence & Presence?

  • Absence: The state of being away.
  • Presence: The fact or condition of being present.

As I see it, the thing/3D object in its ‘solid state’ is the conscious mind (presence), the dormant thing and the unfurled textures/meshes /wireframes are the ‘shadow self’ (absence). The dormant objects, listless in their shadow state reach a state of consciousness and awareness by Leckeys green cape and coolant intervention.


#2 – Being

Another earlier influence on my paper was ‘Andrew Thomas Huang’s piece ‘Hyperskins’. Huang’s x 3 virtual sculptures ‘Hyperskins’ or textural incarnations, have multiple surfaces cycling in an infinite loop. If you 3D scan an object nowadays using for example a free app such as Autodesk’s ‘123D Catch’ you will notice that as part of the download it will generate the mesh .obj or .stl files needed for importing into a 3D program, but it also includes one or more textural jpeg files, this is the object’s shadow self, these textural jpegs become the actant in this narrative that make up the very essence of this 3D object.

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Video: Andrew Thomas Huang: Hyperskins

Discuss: What does ‘Being’ mean to you?

  • Being: Existence.
  • Being: Essence.
  • Being: To occupy a place.

This is also important in relation to being as Huang’s 3D objects, texture and/or meshes by the act of 3D rendition attain metaphysical significance along the x, y and z axes. The fully rendered object attains its place in the world.

Discuss: What do you understand by the term essence?

  • Essence: is the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and which without it loses its identity.

#3 – Object-oriented ontology (OOO)

During my research I touched on Ontology: A branch of Metaphysics dealing with the nature of being, which in turn led me to ‘Object-oriented ontology (OOO)’, its a school of thought that rejects the privileging of human existence over the existence of nonhuman objects.

Timothy Mortons book ‘Timothy Morton: Realistic Magic Objects, Ontology, causality’ became a OOO bible of sorts, and pushed me into these other areas of interest since the research paper.

“Phenomenology, then is an essential cognitive task of confronting the threat that things pose in their very being” – Timothy Morton.

  • Phenomenology: The philosophical study of structures of experience and consciousness.

We awake from our metaphysical slumber and suddenly see objects in a strange new light, impeding our progress. The computer crashes, the hammer iron head flies free of the wooden handle, their contrary, unpredictable and resentful shadow selves made apparent.

Discuss: Can non-human things or objects can exist in a certain fashion that lies outside our own anthropocentric idea of consciousness?

Here are two pieces of work below in the one image, on the left Pierre Huyghe: Zoodrama (2010) and to the right, Pamela Rosenkranz: Our Product (2015) at the Venice Biennale.

With Pamela Rosenkranz’s work ‘Our Product’ she covered the Pavilion’s floor with a mixture of silicone, Evian water, and Viagra to create a liquid imitating what the press release calls ‘a standardized northern European skin tone. Combined with the computer-generated sounds of lapping water, an hormonally-enhanced green wall paint, and a smell that somehow mimicked the scent of a newborn baby, the pavilion became a subtle illustration of a central OOO idea—namely, that all objects (themselves made up of myriad other objects) exert their power over the objects around them, creating the push-pull relationship between viewer and artwork that Morton refers to as ‘charisma.’

“Art is charisma, pouring out of anything whatsoever, whether we humans consider it to be alive or sentient or not.”

Discuss: Have you ever encountered an artwork, that you have considered to be ‘charismatic’?


How has the project proposal influenced my practice?

It has tightened up my thought processes, focused my interests and made me delve further into the world of Object-orientaed ontology (OOO), exploring the underlying essence of objects, things and environments.

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VIDEO: Quasar Bosch

Press play and drag the video above to see it 360 (view in Chrome browser). This is a 360 video.

This brings me to what has interested me more recently, post research paper.

Immanence: Refers to those philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine presence in which the divine encompasses or is manifested in the material world.

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Numen:

  • The spirit or divine power presiding over a thing or place.
  • or, a spiritual force or influence often identified with a natural object, phenomenon, or place.

“There is no such thing as an environment: wherever we look for it we find all kinds of objects – biomes, ecosystems, hedges, gutters and human flesh. In a similar sense there is no such thing as Nature . I’ve seen penguins, plutonium, pollution and pollen but I’ve never seen Nature.” – Timothy Morton: Realistic Magic Objects, Ontology, causality.

Discuss: What does nature mean to you?

  • Nature: the phenomena of the physical world collectively.
  • Nature: the basic or inherent features, character, or qualities of something.

Further Research

Since the research paper I have come across a great French artist called Margueritte Humeau, I like the way her work exists in a screen environment and also how she manifests it in the physical world.

“I use scientific facts but also and more importantly speculations and fictions. I want to create strong physical, almost supernatural experiences”.

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VIDEO: M Humeau: FOXP2 – Proposal for Reenacting the Origin of Sentient Life

Also Jon Rafman’s recent VR and 3D printed piece below ‘Transdimensional Serpent’ appealed to me.

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Thats it.