Tuesday, November 06, 2007

halloween 07

jess as inspired by the replicantsJess and I had a great Halloween this year. We ended up going over the hills to Canyon for a party with some friends. Not only did we have a great time, but we were at the cutest cob house.

I hadn't seen any cob construction before. This one felt like a hobbit grotto (but human sized). Jared does very nice detailed work - stained glass, mosaic, living roof... really cool. Makes you wish you could do it yourself, but I don't think Mariposa has the space for that sort of thing. Maybe if we someday expand into some other yards as well...

daniel san in disguise as a burly bearded guy Jess and I dressed up, which was also fun. The only problem was that I couldn't fit through any doorways. Sad. Watching the movie, they edit out any points where Daniel San moves through a doorway. Ah, the magic of cinema. While it was very comfortable outdoors, this costume turned out to be rather impractical for party hopping.

I also carved another pumpkin (I haven't done anything with this in a while). I kinda felt like this was a practice pumpkin in a lot of ways. What would it be like going for a more minimalist twist?

Answer: I don't think it worked out too well. I think the level of detail and the complication of the forms on earlier attempts helped the effect become surprising.

Simplifying to this extent made it possible to read the image in a number of ways, and that actually hurt the effect. It also degraded the surprise when the form suddenly became interpretable, and I think that surprise element is really important. When viewed off-angle the form should maintain a high level of abstraction.

Drawings of cubes may be classic optical illusions, but in this case, the viewer's ability to interpret a "normal" cube in multiple formulations (convex, concave, open, closed) in some way over-rides the sense of distorted space and light. There are other problems, too.

Ask yourself, is the top of this cube open? or reflective? To my eye, it could be either. This ambiguity somehow makes the form less interesting. In the end, this carving does not make you reassess what the source of the lighting is. While it's possible that the top of the cube is a solid reflective surface, the prior knowledge that the pumpkin is lit from within actually pushes you to interpret that the top of the cube is open, even though this means that there's a missing line. It ends up looking almost like a paper bag with a candle in the bottom of it. And that's not such a leap to make from a pumpkin with a candle in the bottom of it.

Here's what the pumpkin looks like:


if that doesn't work for you, you can see it on youtube.