Friday, 1 November 2013

Swarms of Everyday Objects by Thomas Jackson

In Emergent Behavior  Jackson coaxes scores of disposable objects like keg cups, cheeseballs, glow sticks and Post-it notes into persuasively organic formations. The vast variety of ways that swarms manifest in the world — in the animal kingdom, robotics, biology — affords Jackson a lot of conceptual material to work with.

“It gives me an ability to find inspiration in a focused way,” he says. “I can look at photographs of schools of fish, or flocks of birds, or data swarms, or microorganisms or whatever and really get ideas from that.”

The concept coalesced for Jackson after working with the first two photos of the series — the first portraying shards of broken wooden palettes conspiring to jump over a city sidewalk, the second a matrix of leaves hovering among the trees in an upstate New York forest.

Throughout the series, a major struggle was to get crisp shots of lightweight, suspended objects which are subjected to constantly changing wind conditions. He says he accomplished this largely by timing his shoots to coincide with a post-sunset lull in the winds. Over time, the effect of a bit of motion in the photographs became an attractive quality, adding a sense of explosive energy to the swarms. The latest pictures in the series demonstrate Jackson’s experimentation with this new notion.

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