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The New Dissolve

posted May 28, 2013, 12:18 PM by Ellen Pearlman


Architectural point clouds dissolving in space

High end 3D point clouds and holography have created an aesthetic  I think of as “the new dissolve.” Point clouds consist of simple data points, of X, Y, Z coordinates in a system that produce an image of an external object.

The first example comes from Marnix de Nijs Exploded Views 2.0. His dream-like work begins with a search through a database of 100,000 web images of common cityscapes culled from repositories like Flickr. The search was honed using GPS locators to target 200 reconstructions of the most “famous” or photographed edifices from five continents. The images are then rendered in real time when a person “moves” through them, or conversely moves by them. 

The images consist of arches, cathedrals, churches, monuments, domes, forts and other structures that open into one another, and dissolve like dust into distant memories of ineffable moments.  They are an “imaginary virtual city,” never experienced in real life, but only through dream time.


The dissolve of the edifice

A person steps “into” the image, and it responds depending if someone shifts left, right, forward or backwards. One can also use a trackball to flow through the horizons if they don’t want to step into the images.image

Person as silhouette, navigating through the virtual city

The other dissolve comes from the Justin Bieber hologram in will. i. am’s video #thatPOWER. It helps to have a major pop star in your video, because otherwise its way to expensive to use the advanced technology that is showcased.


Justin Bieber pops out of a holographic box in a tunnel with

Although I found Digital Domain, the company that made the hologram of Tupac at Coachella from a few years ago, I’m not sure who made this current one with Bieber in it.


Bieber and the rad boys

This is not the first time used holography. That was in 2008 during Obama’s election when he was interviewed by Anderson Cooper on TV. image as holograpm in 2008

All of this actually references the issue of representation of the empheral, the dissolve, and the evanescent as it is displayed in art through memory and simulation. There is an endless bank of such memories stored in the human brain triggered by either associated images or even direct neural stimulation. Which would be more powerful? With advances in brain sensors, and augmented viewing devices, these questions herald the next frontier.