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  • Writer's pictureJean-Francois Podevin

LAND & SEA CHANGE: Anamorphic landscapes

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Stochasticon* # LXX

Land & Sea Change" [2,4]: is a collection of quick sketches from memory and observation, drawn from the passenger seat of a moving vehicle on the California coastline. Each quick sketch blends the fleeting imagery gleaned along the time intervals of what was perceived for the duration of the drawing.

The horizontality of the Pacific Ocean front, the similarity of all constructions that border California highways, the change in light through time of day, and the prevalent Western exposure result in a the fleeting and fluid recollection of landscapes morphing into one another as in a permanent "Sea Change".

The image selection in the large prints shows some of the 500 sketches used in the prototype of the machine. The sketches are compressed vertically and printed on six belts of different length, to allow their cycles to repeat only after over a trillion combinations.

A spherical handle rotates the belts altogether. As the eye focuses on one landscape, the previous landscape vanishes through the anamorphic [1] distortion created by the lens.

Occasionally through a process known as "phasing"[3], six images will line up. Image per image or in a group, an alignment of sketches will evoke a unique impression of the Pacific Coastline.

[1] An anamorphosis is a deformed image that appears in its true shape when viewed in some "unconventional" way. <Anamorphosis:

[2] Sea Change: The Sea Change may refer to: Sea change (idiom), an idiom for broad transformation drawn from a phrase in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

[3] Phasing: The relationship between the timing of two or more events, or the adjustment of this relationship.

(Google dictionary.)

Phasing: particular stage or point of advancement in a cycle; the fractional part of the period through which the time has advanced, measured from some arbitrary origin often expressed as an angle (phase angle) the entire period being taken as 360°. verb (used with object), phased, phasing. ( )

[4] This piece was originally titled"Tetric landscape," because of the similarity with the game Tetris, and later titled: "Fluid Memory."

*Stochasticon: The word is a "portmanteau" of the word "Stochastic" defined as random variables which can be interpreted but not predicted, themselves confined within a closed circuit system, and the word Icon defined as a pictorial representation. The word was coined by Carm. K. Goode (Visual Syntax) as it applied to my machines.


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