Une Mission Ephemere

EPFC | January 5th, 2018

Guest Curator: Will Rahilly
The Month’s Theme: Intersections of 3D and Reality

#1 • Piotr Kamler • Une Mission Ephemere

Where are we? In the clouds, towards the end of a red-eye, looking out of the window of our plane—and then, the most primitive of spheres, surely a friendly one, appears and promptly sheds itself into our morning coffee cup.

It seems our handle-less saucer is filled with a dense array of sugar cubes. They flip and toil into a blank Rubik’s Cube—always intricate, always solved—then, a momentary wall of 60s stock photography from seemingly nowhere (an advertisement for the ideal breakfast) precedes the emergence of a smooth, droid-like character. We zoom/enhance into the granular detail. The cascading! The flipping of limbs! His wand divining new shapes that rear and plunge like breaching whales. Intricate, multi-dimensional pendulums clack in his face to keep the time, a metronome that keeps us alert for our lack of caffeine. Seconds pass.

What is our mission exactly? It doesn’t matter. It’s only a moment, or in this case, about 8 minutes of moments neatly stacked into a rhythmic vision. Why do we breath? It doesn’t matter. Concentrate on the film. We are watching some stunning, bespoke three-dimensional renderings. How are they made?

I have no idea how Piotr Kamler, born in 1936, made such an out-of-time masterpiece in 1993—as Groundhog Day lurked around the corner, plastering the walls of cities with its dopey clock poster. Is it partially digital? The specular shine on the text looks notably mathematical, though filtered through film. Still, I like to instead imagine that the author had seen these ‘3D’ graphics and, in an attempt to make remake them—much like cargo cults mimicking western machinery—etched them through ceaseless manic labor.

The droid summons an entire fortress of cubes that ruptures and settles. The sphere moves back out of our line of vision. The skies are clear. I can get on with my day. Though, I would welcome this clockwork each and every morning until I can see it as clearly as the artist did and finally move on.