Drawing Eye-drawing Practice-based PhD

12: Eye drawing characteristics

Figure 29: An eye-drawing of my hand resulting from Video 2

In view of treating Figure 29 as a drawing, there are two particular qualities which need to be discussed. The first relates to the biology of the eye, in so far as it being an organ which is constantly in motion, even when we focus on a particular point within our worldview. The linear quality within Figure 29 is therefore made up of long linear stretches (saccades) and smaller accumulation of lines at specific points (fixations). Cognitive science states that no vision occurs during saccades motion, as these consist in fast movements travelling from point A to point B. On the other hand, fixations are resting points where the gaze focuses and acquires visual information.
While eye drawing, my resulting eye-drawing is therefore inevitably influenced by this biology, and my contouring travels in small ‘steps’ along the edges of my hand. This contrasts to the fluidity present when hand drawing.
The second important characteristic concerns the compositional element within the eye-drawing. Since I do not have any visual reference to the formation of the eye-drawing itself while I am eye drawing, there are no compositional decisions taken during the performative act. This decision comes into place once I assume the position of an editor, and are taken through the viewport display view of software like Rhino3D.
These two main characteristics apply to all of my eye-drawings which have been processed so far. This is also my interpretation of them, and the practice itself will lead me into further necessary knowledge concerning the restriction of my body, properties of my eye movements, properties of the technology (both hardware and software) and the eye-drawings themselves among others.

Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

11: Eye drawing from home

The following video documents myself while eye drawing my hand from different viewpoints. Like most of you, I am now working from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak. I am therefore using my room as a studio. The video below includes some visual documentation of how I have been eye drawing my hand, and I will be posting commentaries about the process and development of this in the near future. In the meantime, stay safe and let’s help each other.

Video documentation while eye drawing my hand from different viewpoints during the Covid-19 lock-down in Edinburgh. Stay safe!

Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

10: Viewpoints

Figure 25: 4 superimposed eye-drawings of my hand as seen from 4 different viewpoints, resulting from the eye drawing session in Figure 28

Figure 26: 30 generative tween curves between every resulting eye-drawing in
Figure 25

Figure 27: Generative stop-motion animation of Figure 26

I can argue that I assimilate two different attitudes while eye drawing. The first concerns the limitation and the restriction of [hand] drawing itself, which is characterised by the restraining (and unconscious snaps) of body gestures; by thinking and concentration; by a specific project of looking and by our innate perceptive mechanisms. It is also an attitude of frustration (as is typical of drawing).
The second attitude is more flexible and concerns the methodology acquired while post-processing is taking place within the virtual plane, which is also technology dependant. To a certain extent, this brings to mind what Dillon states in his essay On Elements of Drawing (2009); “we can no longer draw without a certain self-consciousness regarding the medium itself, and therefore we can [afford to] re-visit its fundamental elements.”
Through the practice of eye-drawing, I am re-visiting fundamental elements of drawing through the primary intention of contouring the world with the eyes (and mind), which is leading me to a process of learning, re-learning and un-learning (not necessarily in this order). I am finding that
one of these fundamental elements concerns the instability of drawing itself, which offers an element of change and fluidity. Eye-drawing is also strictly characterised by [ways of] looking.
I find this to be strongly expressed through the generated drawings between different eye-drawings made from different viewpoints. Figure 25 shows the superimposition of 4 eye-drawings of my right hand, made from four different viewpoints. Figure 28 can give an idea of two different views involved. Figure 26 generates 30 tween curves between each eye-drawing shown in Figure 25; while Figure 27 is a generative stop-motion drawing animation of this hybrid between computer-aided curves and eye-drawings of different viewpoints.

Dillon, B., (2009). On Elements of Line, in The end of the line : Attitudes in drawing. Harbison, I., Dillon, B., Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Bluecoat Gallery, . . . Drawing Room. London: Hayward Publishing/Southbank Centre.

Figure 28: A superimposition of two worldview video frames while eye-drawing my hand from different viewpoints

Eye-drawing Hand Practice-based PhD

7: Animated eye-drawings

Figure 19: Frontal view of Figure 15

Figure 20: Stop-motion animation between the 3 eye-drawings in Figure 15

I experimented with a different post-processing development for the 3 eye-drawings previously shown in Figure 15. A frontal viewpoint of the rotating model was chosen, as illustrated in Figure 19. The curves/drawings within the image were individually exported and these were in turn imported into a video editing software (acting as video frames). The export resulted in the moving image illustrated in Figure 20.
Several questions can be raised by this methodology, concerning both the conceptual and its technical/practical aspects. Firstly, where do these animations stand within the practice of eye-drawing as described in my previous posts?
An animation emerging out of a hybrid of subjective eye-drawings of the body (hand) and computational (algorithmic) generation is definitely an interesting call for more experimentation.
Figure 21 is another animation resulting from a different set of hand eye-drawings.

Figure 21: Stop-motion animation between 3 eye-drawings of my right hand