"I wonder what would look similar to generic camouflage but doesn't require the creation of an actual camouflage..."
For a better understanding of the possibilities of camouflaging, a short historical study was required. In the First World War, a very special camouflage was developed in hopes of protecting civilian boats and battleships. Such large objects can be seen from several kilometers away on the flat, uniform horizon. Therefore the camouflage that was developped was not used to conceal, but to confuse. This is called "dazzle camouflage".
Edward Alexander Wadsworth - inventor of dazzle camouflage - painting his own motif after the war
Test render of dazzle camouflage ¦ Man Ray - "The Third Shelf"
The dazzle camouflage is characterised by a linear composition destined to play with the human eye, rendering the measure of distance, direction, and speed nearly impossible. In this sense, the camouflage played a large role in influencing cubists like Picasso, and of course the Op-art movement, followed by kinetic art.
Jesús Rafael Soto - op and kinetic artist
Continuing on in time, the appearence of what is known as the "modern" camouflage graces the battlefields - with the help of artists of course. An important figure in the development of modern camouflage was László Moholy-Nagy, a professor of the Bauhaus school, who moved to the United States after the uprising of nazism in Germany. His main work consisted in designing camouflage systems for cylindrical objects, gas tanks, silos, etc. Unlike the First World War, confusing the enemy with optical illusions was no longer possible. Therefore, the newly developped camouflage methods were of the concealing type, designed specifically to imitate unorganized nature. There are therefore no linear repetitions like the dazzle camouflage. Any appearence of repetition in the in the design would most probably result in immediate detection due to how the eye functions.
László Moholy-Nagy on camouflaging cylinders ¦ modern camouflage design ¦ aberrations of the human eye
Over the years, several military organisations have attempted to produce an even more sophisticated camouflage than the one seen in almost every war movie (the kidney-shaped blots of dark green). Most, if not all, have come up with "digital" camouflage. This camouflage, as stated in the name, has square, pixel-like patches that are computer generated based on "true" fractal designs. Normally, such pixel-like patches should not be able to function as such forms do not exist in shrubery. Luckily, the human eye (see image on the right) is far from perfect, causing deformation of the micro and macropatterns on the camouflage, creating an organic form by itself. It should be noted that fractal designs are an excellent example of graphical instancing as the same motif is repeated indefinitely, which can therefore be optimized by re-using drawcalls.
So how does this affect my project?
It started with how I could camouflage the middle plane, the Lausanne-Surface plane. If I were to continue the construction of the Sub-Lausanne plane, I would have the facade of the Paris apartment building, but the based on the hybrid, there should not be anything. Therefore how do I effectively camouflage such an imposing facade? Applying a generic digital camouflage would be uninteresting, and making my own camouflage manually would be far too time consuming. I decided to find what would ressemble camouflage generic camouflage without exactly being camouflage. I decided to use image data corruption, a tool that I have used for many years on my own photography to create artworks. I therefore iteratively corrupted a scan of the haussmannian facade:
I then took the last two and converted them to black and white:
I immediately asked myself how such a thing would look like in a 3D environment, and of course, how I would be able to put such a thing together to create an actual space on the column. In such a case, my knowledge of 3D modeling was extremely useful to quickly test several combinations. I decided to test the most simple form possible - the cube - to evaluate the texture possibilites of the "corrupted camouflages".
After initial testing, I concluded that having two layers, even if the second one is nearly invisible, adds a somewhat important depth to the cube, and that the form of the cube itself should be modified to conform to at least one of the previously implemented design languages. So back it was to the iterative image corruption, this time to base the design of the cube on a recurring pattern.
Cube in elevation.
Where should I stop?
There is an evident displacement of the cube towards the left, creating a mostly uniform oblique directional line, similar to a first degree function's slope. To normalize this displacement, the cube was separated into three parts of 6.03[cm] each, in correspondance to the height of the prevously designed Sub-Lausanne plane - three floors in 1:1 scale. the displacement distance was also simplified to a single value of n=2[cm] (this is subject to changes during the construction of the project). Finally, the displacement was integrated in 2 axes - x and y - to ensure a non-frontal design. I also developped a construction method to directly translate the corrupted digital images into physical surfaces without deformation by the organic nature of hand constructed shapes.
This plane symbolizes the corrupt spaces present both in Lausanne and Paris but ignored and hidden from the masses. It's a marginal space englobing all the questionable natures of cities. Every person has knowledge of the existence of said space but not of the exact content of the space. The facades are therefore opaque, leaving only tiny spaces to see inside, to see what truly lies within.
"There evidentally isn't anything."