Friday, October 28, 2011

IP Weekly Progress -- #7

What I Did:

Saturday: (2 hours) Cut and scored leaf forms with some sketching.

Sunday: (6 hours) Started assembling the branch form. Gathered different types of paper like Tyvek, Acid-free tissue, and Japanese Lace to try them out.

Monday: (4 hours) Finished the branch form. Met with Lauren Koreny to talk about paper medium specifically.

Tuesday: (3 hours) Re-touched the branch. Started to make small drafts of leaves and other organic forms in order to create huge versions of themselves.

Wednesday: (2 hours) Met with Matt Shlian to critique my work and get advice on my IP Project.

Thursday: (4 hours) A little research on Deep Sea and Bioluminescence. Tried my hand at making larger organic forms by drafting smaller forms than switching to ones on a large scale. Also tried some quilling. (


I’m not sure what to think of my process to be honest. I feel I work hard, but I have little to show for it. I’ve expressed my concern to a few people, but many assure me that I’m on the right track. I am doing a good variety of experiments and after creating the branch in my studio I feel that I have something “nicer” to show for my experimental phase. I’m hopeful that my next iteration is going to come out quite nicely.

What I accomplished/discovered/encountered:

Right now, I’m starting to actually make forms that come together! Instead of individual pieces I am placing them on display that connects them as a solid piece. I do not want to make multiples of organic forms (Such as leaves) and only make a shape out of them together. Last week I let myself be inspired by the forms I make and allowing my creative nature to take it’s course. When I let myself do that, good things emerged this week!

The next step in my thought process has been thinking of methods of how to “brand” my work. What I mean by branding is picking a natural phoenoma I find fansinating and something that will peak my interest for the next year. I made a simple tree branch form with wet fold and some glue to bind the paper edges together. The leaves were simple shapes that were scored using my x-ato knife. I wanted to see where this practice would take place and see where my skills would lead me. Over the last few weeks I have been hearing from people that my work resembles undersea creatures. This has become my default style over whenever I do not create flora and fauna literally. Whenever I am given a chance to express myself the forms I create represent these mysterious “alien” like creatures. I find myself drawn to subjects where little is known about them. I often want to know more and I develop an emotional connection to what little is known and try to make my own discoveries for what is around. This isn’t just to deep sea, but to the frozen north of Newfoundland, Alaska, and Siberia. They house huge amounts of land untouched and unseen by many – and I’m naturally drawn to what is there, even if they have nothing. The people that live in Siberia, the Reindeer people, have a specific way of adapting and their adaption is this connection to the Reindeer that reside there.

What have been running through my mind lately is a concept of living light called Bioluminescence. Bioluminescence is a light produced by a living organism. Organisms that usually emit natural light are marine vertebrates and invertebrates in deep sea such as siphonophorae, jellies, and squids. Other examples are microorganisms and terrestrial fauna – like firefly, glow worms, mushrooms, and foxfire fungi.

Iridescence is generally known as the property of certain surfaces that appear to change color as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Iridescence is commonly seen in items such as soap bubbles, butterfly wings, and sea shells.

Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light or other electromagnetic radiation of a different wavelength.

Phosphorescence is a specific type of photoluminescence related to fluorescence. Unlike fluorescence, a phosphorescent material does not immediately re-emit the radiation it absorbs.

Ninety percent of deep-sea marine life are estimated to produce bioluminescence in one form or another. Most marine light-emission belongs in the blue and green light spectrum, the wavelengths that can transmit through the seawater most easily. In a color spectrum, red is the very first color wavelength that disappears with orange and yellow following just after so to see in the great sea many creatures use blue and green lights. However, certain loose-jawed fishes emit red and infrared light to disguise themselves from predators or prey rather than use bright colors that are visible at deep depths. Bioluminescence is used for attract prey or mates with a light that is visible in deep sea or counter camouflage from predators (Red is a light that can camouflage and can counter red itself from the inside of a creature). Living light can be used also for communication to other creatures too. The organ that is responsible for the emission of bioluminescence is known as photophores. This type is only present in squid and fish, and is used to illuminate their ventral surfaces, which disguise their silhouettes from predators.

I’ve looked at some things in regards to the subject of bioengineered Bioluminescence. Some groups want to create trees that glow in order to make organic streetlights completely off the grid or crops that glow when they need more water. There is even research toward creating Bioluminescent pets that glow naturally. And then I learned about Biological pigments in creatures – this isn’t really related to Bioluminescence, but it is of a similar field in how plants and animals develop their natural color. Biological pigments, also known simply as pigments or biochromes are substances produced by living organisms that have a color resulting from selective color absorption. Biological pigments include plant pigments and flower pigments.

It’s interesting to me because some colors are much more rare than others – Red is a color that will never be seen at the deep depths, but blue on terrestrial environments will be one of the rarest forms of natural colors found. It’s weird too, because marine flora and coral have a wider spectrum of color compared to their terrestrial friends on land. Why is that? How has color influenced the natural worlds?

We are attracted to light because we are surrounded by natural light – the sun, the moon, the stars, fire, snow reflecting light, icicle reflections, water reflections. Some natural lights are specific in location like the Northern Lights and the Blue ocean glow caused by Noctiluca organisms. We have laser light shows, fireworks, Christmas lights, bonfires, glowsticks, and other items used to celebrate the natural draw of light in our lives.

Why are we attracted to light?


“In order to appreciate the effectiveness of using light to attract people and guide their experience, it is helpful to investigate why humans may have developed this type of response. On a very basic level, it is about vision. The human visual system is very finely tuned for translating light in the environment. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. It is safe to say that seeing is one of the fastest ways to learn about the world around us. It is because of this dependency that our brains are always encouraging us to pursue areas that have more visual information, that is, lighted areas. The brain believes that the more we see, the better our experience in life will be. No doubt, there is also the residual belief that more we can see, the more likely we are to find food, shelter, companionship, and the less likely we are to be eaten by predators.

When we investigate all of these emotional and behavioral effects that are unique to light, we see that there is much more to light than just sufficient quantity. In the realm of architecture and design, we can do much more than simply add light to a space so that people can function and perform visual tasks. Throughout this text, the knowledge that we will be exploring is based on making decisions about what we want light to do in a space.”

What I think I should do next:

I’m making another branch form – I really want to try my hand again at this process with new techniques. I would also like to try hanging the branch this time just to see what happens. I am also going to build bigger forms like leaves and spheres to try my hand at lighting them with LEDs.

What to seek with my Grant Proposal -- What will benefit me the most?

Making something for the All-Student Exhibition! -- Using techniques I've learned and applying it to a serious iteration as a "sketch" of my IP.

More sketching of the actual installation!

1 comment:

Stephanie Rowden said...

I'll say it again....just keep going. Each week, you're consistently exploring ideas, interests, inspiration and ways of making. They'll come together in some surprising way if you continue to experiment and reflect as you are. Fascinating post on bioluminescence.
Look forward to visiting your studio this week~