On Orogenesis by Joan Fontcuberta
June 3, 2005 1:10 PM   Subscribe

On Orogenesis by Joan Fontcuberta Using computer programmes that generate virtual landscapes and using as a scource landscapes painted by Dali.
posted by adamvasco (8 comments total)
What he's doing is grayscale to height mapping. This is normally done, as he says,with topological (sp?) maps... point is, the computer treats each image fed to it as containing height coordinates, white is the highest and black is the lowest, everything in between is slope. The image it spits out is a 3D landscape that, when viewed from above, should resemble the source image. The artist is situating a virtual camera in this landscape, the end result would be similar if he used a painting by Dali or grabbed some pr0n and used that. THese types of landscapes are generated all the time, using Dali's art as a source doesn't make it surreal.
posted by Grod at 1:47 PM on June 3, 2005

Using something more cubist would be far more intriguing.
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:56 PM on June 3, 2005

Inspired would be a better word to use that the misspelled "source". Actually TwelveTwo I would find impeach bush far more intriguing but that's a different subject too. Grod; I think Fontcuberta is using Dali's landscape backgrounds as inspiration using actual Catalan and Mallorquian scenery, rather than from elsewhere in the world.
posted by adamvasco at 2:53 PM on June 3, 2005

well, if nothing else, this person's imagery serves as another tautological tribute to one of the twentieth century's greatest painters.

and technology makes everything fresh and exciting, everybody knows that. therefore, this is a fresh and exciting tautological tribute to dali, and we should be glad that someone found it necessary to make.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 5:27 PM on June 3, 2005

adamvasco Ah, I mean, I was under the impression Grod was correct. Thus I thought the same trick used with some cubist work would result in far more interesting landscapes. Networks of walls and gradients.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:09 PM on June 3, 2005

(disclaimer: Fontcuberta was one of my teachers...)

Grod: Yes, it's conceptual art, not surrealism proper. Using Dali is a hook, as I would easily describe Fontcuberta's body of work as a surrealist inspired branch of conceptualism/structuralism (take those fancy words with a grain of salt). Your description of the process is spot on.

I'm sure Joan would have other things to say, but my abridged description of what he's doing with this line of work is creating images which are not images of the world, but images of other images. Beyond that there's a whole constellation of underlying concepts about the nature of representation, and our association of images with reality, the nature of fiction, and whatnot.

For those interested, do a google search for some of Joan's work: he's got a wicked sense of humor, and has a lot of fun giving unsuspecting visitors a good mindfucking (Fauna Secreta, for example). Some of the later work (such as this) is a little more obscure and heady, and it's the last work I would choose to introduce him to the uninitiated. (one of my favorites is where he photoshops himself into an old soviet phtotograph of astronauts and claims that his is the original and that the soviets photoshopped him out of the image to cover up his story.
posted by adrien at 6:57 AM on June 4, 2005

On the left: a teeny tiny Dali.

On the right: a great big generic Bryce landscape bearing no apparent relationship to the teeny tiny Dali.


I'm too dumb for this kind of art.
posted by ook at 5:09 PM on June 4, 2005

Joan should keep his day job.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 9:11 PM on June 5, 2005

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