Sudhir Ambasana is an architectural designer, digital artist and a researcher. He received his MA from Städelschule, in Frankfurt. His position as an architect could briefly be understood by his interest in using movement to virtually stage subjective consciousness in digitally fabricated environments that pre-supposes critical reading. His work transgresses from the material property of space to the perceptive faculty of human cognition; bringing into concern the dialectical questions regarding mind-body, inside-outside, representation-real, shape-form, image-drawing, machine-human and fragmentation-integration. The overall portfolio of work could be well situated in the contemporary culture of hyper mediated images and its possible cues into architecture design where the shift is in the making of representations - from drawings to images. He explores design procedures through the use of photogrammetry and other image processing tools to further visualize and design 2D/3D imagery, immersive VR environments and AR applications. Some of his recent research projects include – Non-Fungible Speculations, Scale as Such, Micro-Narratives in Architecture Imaging and Chrono-Photography. His work has been exhibited at the India Art Fair 2022 (New Delhi), Emami Art Gallery – (Kolkata, currently on-going), Terrain.Art (New Delhi), Nature-Morte (New Delhi) and Städelschule Rundgang (Frankfurt). His film – Scale as Such has been screened at Fringe Art Festival (Bath, UK), Harkat Studios (Bombay) and ArtBuzz Studios (New Delhi).
<the convoluted passage>
The convoluted passage is a theatrical play of movement in and around the visual world. The world which surrounds us is the ultimate outside, the accessible yet intangible fabric, the real - as James Gibson puts it. In a continuous array of network between objects, the visual world unfolds onto a flat field. This visual field refers to a two-dimensional image implicit in the human perception of the real, captured by the eye in the act of seeing. All modes of pictorial and digital representations are an emulation of the visual field as they function on the principles of projective vision.
Scale under this premise, as an architectural property, has a characteristic of confronting the mind-body dualism to problematize it even more in order to derive that which falls outside the body is still within the reach of cognitive capacity and inversely that which resides in the cognition is physically intangible by the body.
Scale is relative. It is a study of proportions; a process of instigating part-to-whole relations when observing objects or buildings in three-dimension by involuntarily including in the human body as the fundamental referencing start point. It is also read in contrast with other objects existing within the context, non-existing-imaginary objects and objects perceived from experience or lived memory by bringing into consideration the parameters of volume and extent. In this co-relation scale emerges as a material aggregation of mathematically calculative variables existing outside space and time, independent of the human subject in its real-world dynamics. Space time connotations are only activated with the intervention of body (something dimensional that exists in the real world). In real world, any play with scale affects the body first and then the human subject, however, these effects are cognitive and requires a continuous implication of rational thoughts to navigate through it. Scale is implicit in human perception. Through the experience of identifying known objects, scale fabricates intermediate relations between them to imply false depth in order to make spatial connotations. Scale as a fundamental property that which destabilizes the efficient visual play between the world and the field
When playing with scalar qualities of a domestic object’, the form of that object is identified in the first glance, the object itself is not surprising but its identification with form and scale is. It amplifies the symbolic connotations associated with the commodified object and elevates its objecthood unmediated, unclassified, untouched. In its latent formal language, the part-to-whole relations in making assessments remains the same but scale subverts the domestic identity of that object by disrupting completely the traditional dialectic between form and content. The concern for content is mediated by the concern for material identification in relation to the object as that particular domestic object. In the visual field, however, the dialectic between form and content prevails even under any variation of scalar attributes. A change of size in object would only fabricate the false idea of depth between corresponding objects represented on a flat medium, but by exercising scale in the visual world, reformulating relations seems inevitable - one identifying the object in relation to the human body and the latter of that of the object in relation to architecture.
<scale as a post-humanist device- beyond its architectural application>
Scale enables discursive enquiry across scientific knowledge not only within architecture but outside it as well. It is the pre-condition of the human subject which enables architecture as the primary visual contender of its material property and applications. However, scalar applications are not only limited to it, they stretch beyond the real-world physicality in order to translate non-physical objects. These objects, so to speak, lies within our everyday vision but are left unacknowledged or unseen. The pandemic is/was vital in order to make reference- the biological specimen only visible via a microscope could generates multitudes of effects, possibly seen physically with a naked eye- like setting up of mass isolation units, temporary medical facilities, vaccination centers and so on. These objects may be non-solid objects, present in the air which surrounds us or a huge network of unseen fabrics between the walls which enables architectural functionality or the electric signals which mobilizes the consumption of the outside (virtual) in form of a media within these spaces- the images. Imaging today is essentially a form of data processing. It is an assembly of signals which stores statistical data detected electronically through the technique of photon detection. The processes taking place behind the digital screen are scalar and electronic signals being the very foundation of it.
The research would be in order to identify such non-physical objects which takes into account everyday consumption of media, not to mention, also hugely mediated via political interests and a further enquiry into understanding the physical manifestations of such unseen objects in forms of storage, data infrastructure, logistics and mobilization. To keep an account – NFT tokens which are virtual assets requires a network of structured system to create a decentralized blockchain, which essentially functions on heavy yield computers stored in a physical facility somewhere remote. With the launch of Metaverse, the virtual has become even more real whereas the real has lost the sense of passing time. By creating digital assets, the virtual takes control of the present even more than we recognize. To understand scale and scalability in these contexts, one has to look beyond the physicality of space or space-making. What is at stake at this conjecture is not so much about the conventional notion of scale but more about the elasticity of it which enables the scalability. The production, mediation and assimilation of which affects our socio-political immediacy. I am interested to see how scale and scalability of human objects, post-human objects and non-human objects would affect our perception of the real, the immediate and the outside; how scale as a device would subvert architectural functionality and consumption from a very humanist point of view by re-supposing the relation with the body first and then the mind. Architecture in this case would surface again as a peripheral device and at the ontological outset, the question of space would be a mathematical derivative.
The convoluted passage will be realized as a virtual reality piece staging an environment filled with agents mostly fabricated through various scalar application in an attempt to recognize the phenomenological object which is the body- as an external agency formulating hybrid relations to instill in a post humanist tendency to perpetuate through. Digital resampling as process would suit the best in order to annex the real-world objects out of space and time to conjure upon virtual as a post-anthropocentric landscape. In order to achieve the affect and the effect of a said space in relation to bringing into consideration Gibson’s psychological model of our everyday perception, the movement of the subject becomes central and further architectural properties like scale, ground, form, void, tectonics have to be experimented on along with image properties like resolution, density and pixilation. This project will be an extension of my ongoing research, the foundational work on scale can be seen in my last visual output.