Monday, January 28, 2013

Living Section

To be immersed is to look at the city in section, to be inside, to look at the inner workings of this body, as a kind of x-ray vision. The section drawing as we know allows us to understand the adjacencies of interior spaces, their configurations and relative proportions, etceteras. While they are revealing of this static, and abstract characteristics of space, they do not provide us with the representation or the analysis of what is happening inside, how often it is happening, what are the variations, the rhythms and patterns, the ephemeral, what is the life of that which is being investigated. To be immersed is to be inside but it is also to look at the city moving, to look at the city in time, to look at the city changing. Last Wednesday I presented this idea of the Living Section to the class, as well as a series of dissections of time/space studies which take the conventional section-cut drawing as we know it and combine it with video to create a new kind of document. These included personal projects, student projects as well as inspiration in other works that influence this kind of document. I started with this text from Philosopher Michel de Certeau in Walking the City in which he argues that the plan-like image of a city as seen from above is nothing else but a “viewpoint… a picture, whose condition of possibility is an oblivion and a misunderstanding of practices”. He argues for the experience of wandering through the city as a “process of appropriation of the topographical system”. “The ordinary practitioners of the city live ‘down below’, below the thresholds at which visibility begins. ... whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban ‘text’ they write without being able to read it. These practitioners make use of spaces that cannot be seen; their knowledge of them is as blind as that of lovers in each other’s arms. The paths that correspond in this intertwining, unrecognized poems in which each body is an element signed by many others, elude legibility. It is as though the practices organizing a bustling city were characterized by their blindness. The networks of these moving, intersecting writings compose a manifold story that has neither author nor spectator, shaped out of fragments of trajectories and alterations of spaces: in relation to representations, it remains daily and indefinitely other.” de Certeau, Michel. Walking in the City. In The Practice of Everyday Life, Trans. by Steven Rendall. California: University of California Press, 1988, p. 128 We also spoke about ants. Yes!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eye Tracking Study

What do you see?  Josh, Chen, and Jingjie participated in a CUshop consumer biometrics study last week using Tobii mobile eye tracking glasses.  Their eye movements were tracked at a frequency of 30 times a second as they navigated packaging goods.  Traces of the participant's perspective and physiological reactions are illustrated with red dots (fixations) and connected with red lines (saccades), representing the viewer's path.

Josh's eye tracking:

Josh-eye tracking from Dan Hutcherson on Vimeo.

Chen's eye tracking:

Chen-eye tracking from Dan Hutcherson on Vimeo.

Jingjie's eye tracking:

Jingjie-eye tracking from Dan Hutcherson on Vimeo.

Monday, January 21, 2013

City Lights and Neurons

City lights and neurons are displayed alongside each other in this blogger's post on "Infinity Imagined"

city lights and neurons

This expresses the notion of scale (both large/small, fast/slow) and the Powers of Ten films (Eames) that we discussed in class.  Beautiful imagery, especially when you click on the source images...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Building the Research with a New Team

We are resuming activity with a new group of students coming from Columbia, Jacksonville, Beijing, Hangzhou, and Greer with backgrounds in architecture, urban planning and packaging. We will be working from a series of texts and discussions on temporality, public space and representation. We will use audio, video and GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to explore the potential of a drawing which is temporal and ever-changing and which looks at the body of the city in its intimate relationship to the mapping of the human body. The seminar will use historical references in architecture, film, cartography, photography, drawing, literature, urbanism, biology, sociology, science, and physiology… as well as contemporary visualization examples in graphic design, art, architecture, medicine, aviation...