Handmade Spaces

Handmade Spaces is a set of material and digital artifacts compiled during the 13th meeting of the Photographic Knitting Club, which brought together eight participants to meet virtually and perform a series of exercises exploring the mechanics of photogrammetry.  

Developed as a scientific method for obtaining measurements from a series of images to remotely survey land in the nineteenth century, photogrammetry today has many applications, from 3D animation to forensics and state-sponsored surveillance. Photographic Knitting Club reflects on these applications of digital tools, while centering our attention on the domestic space, a site increasingly exposed to corporate surveillance and data extraction.

In the workshops, participants engaged in practices that reframe these imaging and quantification tools as digital crafts and connect data visualization with embodied experience. We perform a series of exercises that explore the mechanics of photogrammetry, the material practices of photographic production, and the tactility associated with inhabiting our most familiar spaces.

The artifacts seen here constitute the second step of the project: after processing and anonymizing the visual information shared by the participants, I perform handicraft on this data as a way to experience new modes of seeing within 3D software. Inverting the association between photogrammetry and instrumentalist extraction of data, the artifacts fabricated for this piece instead allow us to reimagine and make strange the spaces we inhabit and the intimate objects with which we share them.
Handmade Spaces is commissioned as part of refamiliarization, curated by Justin Berner and Julia Irwin.

The workshop and the exhibit is made possible with the support from The Berkeley Center for New Media and The Department of Art Practice. Special thanks to Jill Miller and Jacobs Institute for Design and Innovation.
Here are five workshop participants narrating their daily movement in space from a first person point-of-view using their phone camera. Using photogrammetry, the frames from these videos were first extracted, then stitched and reconstructed into 3D models. We still hear the participants' voices and through the home VHS video style framing, but environments are reduced to 3D polygons without identifiable color or texture information.

Here we see a blanket printed with floorboards taken from different participants’ homes. The blanket is shown as part of the video installation.
Paper weaving. Components of the 3D environments were cut up and converted into thread.
Surfaces (such as bed sheets and blankets) from participants' home environments were preserved through 3D printing. 
Details of home environments were projected onto six sided cubes.
Paper origami made from participants’ home objects.

Here is an example of a sofa 3D scanned by a workshop participant. The sofa is simplified, flattened, printed on cardstock, and reassembled into three dimensions.
Hand tracing of patterns found in 3D scans. They range from participants’ pillows, towels, carpets, comforters, clothings, and artworks. This drawing exercise is an attempt to use 3D models as raw materials and a tool to study domestic spaces.