Monday, April 16, 2007

Preston Scott Cohen's exploitation of the perspective hinge

How would I explain the value of Perez-Gomez's writings regarding the "perspective hinge" to my mom? I ask not because this writing is obtuse, confusing or obscure but because it is almost too obvious. A standardized system for simulating and mimicking what we perceive is important to architects. The history and theory is not controversial or contentious. I have found though, that there is value in revisiting the most basic relationships between perception and representation. Yes, its obvious but its critical and relevant. Mitchell advocates a similar modernist re-examination of the pixel. At risk of going off on a tangent I will note here that this is good reason for embracing evolving societal standards for evaluating value (fads, fashion, etc). It is only now that we are "over" the pixel that we can (and we must, to stay ahead of the trends) really dissect it, conceptually. We can not dismiss it though because a good fashion sense requires historical resonance AND innovation or mutation ("new hotness"). And so, as uncomfortable as it may sound, perspective generation is not cool anymore. I mean specifically "generation" as in computer generation. It is no longer neat that computers have the computational power to calculate and display perspective projections.

This is where Preston Scott Cohen makes perspective fashionable again, by revisiting the value of descriptive geometry and the algorithm itself (as opposed to the speed or convenience at which the algorithm can be implemented). His remarkable product reveals and represents the algorithm as such AND exploits traditional graphic tendencies (linear convergence, rarity of the 90 degree angle, etc) as sign for perspective. Also, he has one of the trendiest/cool first/middle name combinations EVER (I mean, currently).

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