During the last couple of days I have been browsing through a book recommended by a professor entitled, Atomic Light (Shadow Optics), by Akira Mizuta Lippit.  The section theorizing cinema surface design has especially resonated with my work and the desire to communicate real objects, surfaces, and the interactions between the two as a visual spatial experience.

Here are a few of his insights to dwell upon:

For Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the conception of “light as an action by contact” can be traced to Rene Descartes.  “The blind, says Descartes, ‘see with their hands.’  The Cartesian concept of vision is modeled after the sense of touch.”  Laura U. Marks argues that cinema induces a haptic perception, establishing in the registers of the visible a tactile materiality… It suggests a form of penetrating visuality that deflects the look away from the register of vision and returns it to the subject as another sense.  It transforms the field of visuality into a broader sensual order.  (62)


Space expands and contracts in the cinema, movement extends and withdraws.  Space and movement are malleable and independent of their photographic referents: the spatial and temporal dimensions of each film are unique to that film.  Each film produces its own spatiality and temporality.  On the screen and on its other side, but also inside. (63)

Considering the medium of the contact print, this notion of the haptic is interesting to dwell on.  Their is a direct need for close proximity or direct contact with a surface in order to generate the print.

This idea also resonates with the nature of the photogrammetric model.  Objects, floors and walls merge into one aggregate surface.  The continuous photogrammetric surface is very affectionate in that it leaves no object un-touched or un-absorbed.

So the fact that objects and ornament generate the “detail point” which better advise the program of how to construct the 3d model, appropriates the surface completely in service to the things that are often deemed not architecture, such as objects and ornament.

These are the things that are also often in flux.

Space expands and contracts in the cinema, movement extends and withdraws.