non architecture | rEMOTE sENSING | dATA viSUALISATION | 2018

"The eyes that actually saw the light melted out of sheer ecstasy. For one instance everybody was the same colour. It made angels out of everybody.”

-Willem de Kooning on the radical visuality unleashed by the atomic bomb. 1951


I have tried to grasp and render the Edinburgh Fringe Festival into an ontologically flat reality by capturing the event through a terrestrial LiDAR scanner. “There’s a barbaric violence in the heart of all technology”[23] — claimed Michel Serres. Drawing parallels between the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger at Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986, and the ancient Carthaginians practice of enclosing humans in a gigantic brass statue of the god Baal — and incinerating them there, as a sacrifice to their deity. A similar violence exists in remote-sensing technologies such as LiDAR, SAR, Radar, Sonar etc. all made to grasp the real and freeze it into a mathematical quarantine, a point cloud. In the point cloud of LiDAR, the world is shredded into a savage metaphysics, a redemptive ecstasy in deterioration of all differences, a monochromatic annihilation. In a point-cloud all things are replaced by digits and all digits are points — thus erasing the difference between flesh and stone. Where all individuations is levelled through the production of a visuality, reminiscent of a photograph take by the Atom Bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where the radical intensity of atomic cataclysm reduced all contacts into shadows, into mere photograms of what confronted the blast. Instantly penetrated by the massive force of radiation, the Hibakusha: explosion effected people, were seared into the environment with the photographic certainty of having been there, a shadow trace. “For one instance everybody was the same colour.”