Photogrammetry, Control, and Identity

A photogrammetry portrait made from 30 self-portraits taken over 30 days.

The Process

At the start of February 2021 I began to take an image of myself everyday. I sat down on the edge of my bed, straightened my posture, and looked forward at the same spot in the corner of the room. Each day I moved the tripod a few inches to the right along a semicircle marked by tape I had placed on the carpet. I would set the shutter on a timer and position myself in the dictated spot. I would pre-visualize how the soft Rembrandt lighting would hit my face as I waited for the flash to pop. …


How images exhibit the memes that control them

This is a stream of consciousness write up, with some citations made in post, about how I think images operate.

The story of Narcissus is one of overextension. Narcissus is a character in Greek mythology, who is born handsome, knows it, and becomes obsessed with how he looks. He gazes for hours into his own reflection in a pool of water. He becomes numb to the rest of the world, desiring nothing more than the shape of his own mirror image. In the end, Narcissus becomes a puppet of his own image. He becomes an extension of his reflection.

“Mitosis (Bronica S2a)” 2021. A medium format camera lost in its own reflection. The gray camera is a 3D printed to-scale replica of the camera below. The digital scan of the Bronica was constructed using photogrammetry software.

The…


Is this object discrete or continuous?

“Tensegrity Between The Discrete And The Continuous” (2021)

Tweening is a technique in animation where an animator adds intermediate frames in between two key frames. An example is an animation of a character walking. In the first keyframe the character might have their left foot forward. In the second, their right foot. The tween frames are the frames added that smooth out the motion of the character walking so that their legs appear to move forward and back. As you can imagine, the act of tweening is an art, and all animators have their own flavor of going about it.

Funny enough, tweening has a few parallels to…


A chronology of keylogging my own data exhaust

“Keyscape, December to January” (2021)

This work was an exploration of my personal “data exhaust.”

There is a magic in using a computer. It does not just take instructions; it is not just an Analytical Machine that executes instructions given to it. It feels alive, like it listens and responds and learns. It appears to have the ability to make original, inspired, and creative decisions. Especially with the diverse range ways in which developers have constructed experiences in it, the reality that the computer is crunching a series of bits is all but hidden behind an immersive illusion. The verisimilitude of a computer goes beyond…


“Lenless Horizon” (2021) Series. Top L to R: “Google Data Center. The Dalles, OR.”, “Microsoft Data Center. Quincy, WA.”, “Vantage Data Center. Quincy, WA.”, “Sabey Data Center. Quincy, WA.” Bottom L to R: “Amazon Data Center. Boardman, OR.”, “Amazon Data Center. Boardman, OR.”, “Facebook Data Center, Prineville, OR.”, “Apple Data Center. Prineville, OR.”

This work documents seven data centers dotted across the Pacific Northwest operated by Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. It highlights the usurping of the camera by data centers: in each of these photographs the data centers graphically take the camera’s traditional place at the top of a tripod. As a series these photographs investigate the shifting landscape of images that is moving away from analog photography, and is moving towards a precedence of “network images” in image-making.

Network images are a form of computational photography in which the pre- or post-processing of digital image media takes place in distributed…


According to Bruno Latour, it does not.

Latour, a philosopher, writes in the essay Some Experiments in Art and Politics, “…networks have no inside, only radiating connectors. They are all edges. They provide connections but no structure. One does not reside in a network, but rather moves to other points along the edges.”

The understanding of network as a mere nested series of smaller structures is old and outdated, for Latour. As he points out, it is rooted in a Renaissance prescription of the hierarchy of the universe known as scala naturae, which lays the ground for modernism, a movement which Latour is highly skeptical of. The…


The footprints of data centers

“Pollution is nothing but resources we’re not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” Buckminster Fuller, I Seem To Be A Verb

Data exhaust are the footprints you leave behind as you go about your digital life.

Every action you take on a digital device is a footstep recorded in the sands of the metaverse. If you peruse the web, if you paint a canvas in Photoshop, if you open an app on your computer, you are generating many kinds of data exhaust: web cookies, image caches, and system logs. These files are the…


New media art includes all art made on computer programs, new technical instruments, and that which employs concepts such as “data” and “information”. That’s my definition for now.

Within new media art there might be two camps, two sub-styles. One camp leans hard into the “newness” effect of new media. Artists in this camp create artworks which experiment with unique forms of overlapping colors, high-frequency oscillation, geometric complexity, and much more. They use newly developed tools and repurpose them to create stuff that the makers of the tool did not necessarily intend. This camp revels in the surprise gifts uncovered…


Ingenic media could reveal and redefine what it means to be human. Can we control it?

This is an edited re-write of my original essay Ingenic and Exgenic Media. Thank you to Andrew Schwartz for editing the piece. This essay will be published on https://mangoprism.com/ later this month.

In 2019, Jak Wilmot livestreamed himself living a week in virtual reality. He ate with a VR headset on and didn’t take it off to sleep or to go to the restroom. When he showered he kept his eyes closed. …


A photobook of video game screenshots

Below is the introduction found at the start of the book.

Phil Kikawa is an avid modder of Skyrim, the open world RPG video game. He has added dozens of modifications to the game’s runtime code to make it look spectacular, in both life-like photorealistic ways, and in ways that are abstractly idyllic.

These images are of a genre I call “screenscapes.” This style of photography treats the screen not as a flat canvas but as a landscape with depth. It is a type of photography that requires deep meditation and mediation into the complexities and beauty of a…

tywen kelly

A student of Media Ecology. More work at https://www.instagram.com/tywensnotes/

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