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(Not Exactly an Illusion)

​​CyanoType, Spring 2020


Comprised of two parts, physical and digital, this piece tries to present a case in which certain intrinsic properties of physicality—such as dimensionality and structure—when digitized, would be rendered meaningless, yet new meanings and/or new perspectives could emerge at the same time.

In the physical domain, it takes the form of a cyanotype print. Instead of featuring the flora and fauna, the theme of this print is, however, coffee filters; or to be more precise, the fine structures of paper fiber network—something innately abstract so that they won’t give away the size of this print.

Scanned at 3200 dpi, the fine structures of this cyanotype print are digitized with much more details than that can be extracted by staring at its physical form with bare eyes. (Images uploaded have a reduced quality. Under the best circumstances, viewers would have the liberty to zoom in and out freely.)

Honestly speaking, my original intent with this piece was more nihilistic. When I showed the digital representation to some of my friends, something unexpected happened. Much as planned, they couldn’t figure out the size of this thing, nor could they tell what it actually is. But according to several, the hyper-magnified imageries of a coffee-filter themed cyanotype could be viewed as, the surface of the moon, or even, a rendition of a Jackson Pollock—the last part is a bit stretched, but then if we feed these high-magnification enabled structures to a machine-learning algorithm and associate some coloring-scheme to the patterns sorted out, it almost certainly still won’t become a Pollock, but it can be something, of its own right.

I constantly found myself in the nihlistic and existential quagmire. 

My cheeks hugged by the tingling fibers, and they would not let go. 

It is a quarantine, but it is fine. 

L'enfer c'est les autres. 

How does Jean-Paul Sartre found his peace after formulating the talks? 

I am gleaned from other philosopher's crumbs, but I found few details. 

I demand for a further enlarged thought. 

This is a snare, in the cover of a prepossessing tale. 

I am fooled by the guile and would not go out. 

The fibers have let go.

It has been me. 

Long long ago,

it has always be me.














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