Monday, September 27, 2010

Photography of Time Travel

(the white lines in the sky are a result of the sun moving across the sky and variations in the sun path through the year. photograph sourced from here)
Recently I came across German photographer/artist Michael Wesley's monochromatic photographs that are a part of his open shutter project, which record the image over long periods of exposure sometimes lasting 3 years.
In the past I have also written of Michael Kenna's long exposure photographs in low light conditions giving absolutely stunning high contrast images that beautify the very constraint, the static nature of a photograph. Here the image isnt a split second capture but something that has been and will continue to be. The environments recorded are almost meditative minimal landscapes of silence.

(image sourced from here)
But when a similar methodology gets used in urban environments that attempts to record months of moving images in one frame the result is as magical. Within the greater Order of Things in the branch of still photography I believe it is like discovering dialectically opposite twins.

(image sourced from here)
Michael Wesley's monochrome photographs that continue capturing the image over a period of 2 to 3 years constantly as the glass eye of the camera gazes continuously at one focus and the world around it changes, it instantly transforms into a time machine with its precise control over the speed of light, absorbtion of the memory of the past, experience of the present and dreams of the future on the film. The images thus recorded are as magical as the moving pictures, they record the very ghosts of time, the paths of the sun as it speeds across the horizon, the glare of a glass window on a particuilar day in winter.

(image sourced from here)
I wonder what would it be to have a camera positioned whose exposure time will work through generations, what would one like to focus their eyes on for the next 80 years if they know it will only be their next generation that shall see what it looked like.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

London Open House

(Roger's Channel 4 building)

(Roger's Maggie centre, small and very beautiful building as opposed to the channel 4 building.)
The London Open House is one of a kind architectural event that celebrates the city and its endeavours in articulating its built environment. Inspite of being architectural it seems to work at an urban scale as the entire city is turned into a gallery / museum exhibiting different buildings of architectural importance with people walking, running, cycling and in case of lazier ones like me taking the tube between different buildings of their choice that are made open to public over this open house weekend.

(Building to the left with circular windows and hideously out of scale pattern is FOA design and next to it sit buildings by generic practices that decided to 'design elevations based on copy, paste and array commands in autocad' according to my fellow architectural photographer for the day Dominyka Togonidze)
The buildings vary in scale, typology, date of design and conception. The entire process of careful selection of buildings that intrigue you the most out of a list of 800 and imprinting them on the London map with a game plan based on your preferred order of tastes in the course of this architectural buffet and the desire to savour everything laid out on the table makes it a truly urban experience. This year we covered the Greenwich Yatch Club, Maggie's Centre designed by Richard Rogers & partners. Another building that we visited was Roger's Television Channel 4 building which again wasn't open on that particular day of the open house.

(some really interesting designs by Adjaye associates. All photos in this post including these are courtesy of Dominyka Togonidze)
Also visited two buildings by Adjaye Associates in Shoreditch which were the Rivington Place and Dirty house unfortunately both not listed on the open house this year. Both the buildings are black and very minimal with some interesting details, formal strategies and material palette. I think Adjaye's is one of the few new practices that we can look forward to for more interesting work.
On the whole it was a great day filled with
archi- conversations, arguments and gossips while we went on a treasure hunt building to building collecting elements, details, materials, form and colours in our minds to be put to use in fantastically improvised versions when the time/project comes!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Concrete Flower to Death

In the Park of Eternal Glory next to the Wall of Memory rests a white concrete building to Death. The Kiev Crematorium designed by Architect Avraham Miletsky in the year 1975. The dynamic spatial sculpturing of space makes one wonder if the building is in a constant state of infinitesimally slow motion as its white concrete petals bloom and rotate producing a meditative grinding sound, while warm Death embraces the body inside.

(image sourced from here. There are also some more images here and here)