Zooming In

When zooming in, new possibilities are revealed by given images. This is evident in the movie Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) where the photographer Thomas, the protagonist, during the routine activities in his studio, perceives something more intriguing than just the banal daily details of his craft, while blowing-up some of his pictures. Instead of just the complexity of grains and the composition of the picture he founds indications of something more appalling, a murder. Although we are not discovering a crime scene, new information is provided to help build upon the narrative.

It is 2019 and a lot of architecture is still drawn and discussed through the medium of the hand drawing.  Drawing tools as ink, technical pens, instant lettering, a set of rulers (guided by the parallel one), colored pencil and colored ink, collage, graphite, a selection of different papers and so on all play a pivotal role in shaping, revealing and communicating the architects’ vision.

If up to the digitalization of architecture, the same medium of paper would then be the tool through which the drawings would be discussed, we now experience the hyper digitalization of our work and the very mechanization and transfer of these marks from the analogue to the digital. When these same drawings appear online, the particularities and unique texture inherent to the medium of paper as an analogue artefact are often neglected. The incompatible differences of scale (between the computer or the cellphone screen versus the actual drawing’s paper size), color and texture between the real drawing and the digitalized one (scanned or photographed) or even the noise provoked by the human touch, the inevitable and beautiful imperfections, intrinsic to the handmade work seem to disappear and are disguised by the power of the pixel and of editing software as photoshop.

The variety of tools available in the process of digitalization, from the individual scanners to cameras etc or even different settings for the same tools, allow for an even bigger range of images to be created. This collection of missed and deformed information transforms each digitalized drawing into, at least, one different version of its original source.

Should one’s intention be that of experimenting along with the process, this process can be valued as dynamic and stimulating. Nonetheless this can also be an obstacle should one’s objective be to translate the drawing with as much accuracy as possible, from one medium to another, when both belong of different realms.

A selection of drawings is here zoomed in and presented along with short descriptions of the original complete picture, the materials explored throughout the process of making as well as the tools used to register the latter. Here the images exists in a different format from their digitalized versions as well as being unlike their original handmade version. Somehow these new crops became instant abstractions.

This selection of drawings belongs to a project called “Casa Fluxo”. The paper size is 99 x 66 cm. Black ink was used to trace the lines with the help of the parallel ruler. The colors where made with collage (the red spots), colored pencil (the light blue) and ecoline (the darker blue). It was photographed, instead of scanned, so the colors and the lighting were set according the photographer. The bright red, for instance, would never be capture by the scanner lens, it would appear as a pale desaturated red. This picture looks definitely closer to what the real drawing looks in person, more than if it were scanned actually, but still considerably different.
This selection of drawings belongs to a project called “Casa Fluxo”. The paper size is 99 x 66 cm. Black ink was used to trace the lines with the help of the parallel ruler. The colors where made with collage (the red spots), colored pencil (the light blue) and ecoline (the darker blue). It was photographed, instead of scanned, so the colors and the lighting were set according the photographer. The bright red, for instance, would never be capture by the scanner lens, it would appear as a pale desaturated red. This picture looks definitely closer to what the real drawing looks in person, more than if it were scanned actually, but still considerably different.

This procedure raises a selection of interesting questions. How should we treat and identify the different within these diverse modalities? Should we mimic the handmade drawings already in the digital media? Shold we present the most accurate digitalized version alongside the analogue? Should we constantly make one version per media, according to its specificities, to get the best of each media’s nature? Should we do like the museums, that provide us witha virtual tour inside their collections, as you can zoom in into the paintings and see more details and get closer than you could ever get in person? Orshouldthe digitalized versions always present other features, in order to get hold of different aspects of the images, and not be just a ‘poor’version of the original one.

These two zooms are part of a diptych, untitled. It has more or less the measures of an A2 paper - each. Black ink and colored pencil were used. The natural texture of this paper is really good, it gives noise to the drawing without doing much. It is also a paper that really wrinkles when the wet ink gets in contact with the surface, so you can see the shadows of the waves on the paper a little bit. It was scanned on a A4 scanner, in parts. That’s why the corners of the drawing get kind of blurry as the drawing doesn’t fit entirely on the scan window. The images where simply scanned with the automatic settings and they didn’t go under any retouching or adjust. The image looks darker and the yellow warmer than the original drawing.
These two zooms are part of a diptych, untitled. It has more or less the measures of an A2 paper - each. Black ink and colored pencil were used. The natural texture of this paper is really good, it gives noise to the drawing without doing much. It is also a paper that really wrinkles when the wet ink gets in contact with the surface, so you can see the shadows of the waves on the paper a little bit. It was scanned on a A4 scanner, in parts. That’s why the corners of the drawing get kind of blurry as the drawing doesn’t fit entirely on the scan window. The images where simply scanned with the automatic settings and they didn’t go under any retouching or adjust. The image looks darker and the yellow warmer than the original drawing.

There is an infinitude of possibilities, but maybe the same particularities that get lost in between thesemistranslations (handmade to digital) are the very same particularities, among other factors, that give magic to the work and keep us interested in still pursuing this path. Maybe it doesn’t belong exactly to the lens of a camera or a scanner, but to ideally be seen in person. As in Blow-Up, after getting intrigued by the mistery contained in the images, you got to go there and see it with your own eyes.

This last one is from a series of deconstructed cubes, paper size A2 and untitled as well. It’s from a series of drawings done with a lot of variations in terms of papers and color details. This one is mainly black paint with a few details in collage and letraset (the wavy lines). There is a bit of white paint on the moon, on top of the black ink, and on other parts of the drawing. Creme paper is usually used on the back of the transparent papers, it gives a warmer feeling to the drawing and the white ink pops and becomes a color instead of just the color of the background. It was also scanned on the A4 scanner without any adjustments, with the automatic scan settings, so is possible to see a lot of the errors and stains on the paper as well as the blurry edges.
This last one is from a series of deconstructed cubes, paper size A2 and untitled as well. It’s from a series of drawings done with a lot of variations in terms of papers and color details. This one is mainly black paint with a few details in collage and letraset (the wavy lines). There is a bit of white paint on the moon, on top of the black ink, and on other parts of the drawing. Creme paper is usually used on the back of the transparent papers, it gives a warmer feeling to the drawing and the white ink pops and becomes a color instead of just the color of the background. It was also scanned on the A4 scanner without any adjustments, with the automatic scan settings, so is possible to see a lot of the errors and stains on the paper as well as the blurry edges.