I orbit around a tree stump, camera pointed at my subject. I photograph every point of view. By moving my body in the capture zone, I draw a spiral around the trunk above which I end my operation, in a perfect dive.
Seven years separate the germination of my next novel and the photogrammetry session on the Dieppe trail of Mont Saint-Hilaire, where I cogitate my texts by alternating walking and running. Usually, I move quickly along the trail, zigzagging between roots and rocks, sometimes lifting my eyes to embrace the forest with an open gaze that perceives the whole without focusing on a specific point, a kind of impressionistic gaze, and I hear the voice of my narrator whispering in my ear what I will write later.
Photogrammetry uses triangulation techniques to measure the distance between the camera and the objects or surfaces it photographs. The images are then processed using software to generate a 3D model. The exploration of this reality modeling technique propels me onto the wavelength of my project.
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I was on the Plain of Six Glaciers in Alberta when the first image of my novel took root in my imagination, in the fall of 2015. I was slowly advancing on the narrow moraine that seemed to form a thread above an abyss of polar wind and dust. Around me, the tips of a crescent of mountains rose abruptly, creating the impression of a mouth with sharp teeth that was about to engulf me. In the background, on the surface of my imagination, I saw a woman advancing, naked, where I was standing. I knew she had been walking for a very long time and that the decor of her advance did not resemble mine. I saw around the character dead trees, petrified stumps.
A month earlier, I had placed a last kiss on my mother's forehead, a few minutes after her death. Her skin, cold, dry and almost translucent, revealed her skull. In the morning light, my mother's face looked like bark about to detach from its wood.
By modeling the stump of the dead tree, I preserve a three-dimensional trace, a virtual double of the carcass which, itself, will disappear from the landscape, decomposed into nutrients swallowed by the forest.
At the time of the photogrammetry session, I don't yet know what I will do with this new digital object. I perceive the residues of a nature decimated by humanity. The chaotic proliferation of fallen, dehydrated, interlaced leaves, like the meshes of an ephemeral weaving, resemble the debris of collapsed civilizations whose memory haunts the character of my futuristic novel.
By importing the virtual stump into Blender, without texture, I discover a landscape with its hills, streams and perhaps even an old volcano. The digitization of this stump lost in the depths of a Monteregian forest is transmuted into a new pictorial universe.
As is often the case in my artistic process, I am fascinated by the bilanx, the balance between organic decomposition and virtual composition, which respond to each other in my work, in a kind of breathing.
photogrammetry | 3D modeling & animation | videos | text : KAROLINE GEORGES
music : ALEX FOREST