2023, Former Iec Long Firecracker Factory, Macau
Macau Pointcloud Garden Artist Speech
The Macau Pointcloud Gardens are a series of 2 virtual gardens I created based on 3d scans of Macau’s gardens and natural spaces.
In many ways technology, and especially screen based technologies distance us from nature. Spending time on screen can be seen as a diametrically opposed way of engaging the world than being immersed in close observation of nature. My work proposes ways in which technology might actually bring us closer to nature. After all, technology has enabled humans to understand the natural world in completely new ways, and this new understanding has brought with it new poetics.
My work also explores the gap between human perception and machine vision. For this project I used pointclouds, which are the building block of 3d scanning technologies. Point clouds are a way for computers to transform the visual world into data points. I wanted to let humans experience those data points to elicit emotional and bodily responses to this form of technological vision. It is the differences, the gaps between the human and machine that can elicit new aesthetic experiences. I want to celebrate those gaps, and celebrate the entanglement of human and machine as a way to expand poetic possibility.
The Wind Garden
The Wind garden is a collection of pointcloud scans from all over Macau, brought together into a single cohesive garden.
In July, I visited as many of Macau’s green spaces as possible, took thousands of photographs, and made 3d scans of what I encountered there. These 3D scans served as raw material to collage and compose together a virtual garden that represents Macau.
2 virtual cameras slowly walk through the garden side by side, but each sees things slightly differently, from a unique vantage, like 2 friends or lovers taking a stroll.
The Japanese word Hamorebi means the light filtering through the leaves. It is a deeply soothing sensation we are all familiar with. By focusing on how the points move across the screen, and through their slow shimmering motion I have tried to capture the sensation of ‘hamorebi’ in the gardens.
The Transparent Garden
The transparent garden focuses on the former Iec Long Firecracker Factory and the wetlands next door. The location of the screen displaying this pointcloud garden was chosen to capture the beautiful mix of nature and architecture in Iec Long. I used a transparent screen to blend this garden with the existing site.
I have been working with 3d scanning technologies for over a decade, but my work has focused on nature. However this site made me introduce scans of architecture into my work. This site makes distinction between the natural and the man-made very difficult, and demonstrates new ways of thinking of rambunctious gardens that don’t make neat distinctions between artificial and natural. This is the spirit I tried to capture as I recreated my own version of this garden.