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 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.
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.