Public Art Commission

Posted: February 27, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I’m working on a public art commission for the City of Vancouver and I thought it would be a good opportunity to revisit the Self-Organized Landscapes series. For this project, the idea is to combine both a Self-Organized Landscape and a panoramic photograph such that a photo-realistic and readable image dissolves into abstraction as informed by a Self-Organized Map (SOM). The first step was to shoot a ‘straight’ photographic proxy image. The following is a pano constructed using hugin from ~45 exposures where the full resolution is ~30,000 pixels across.

still-proxy-pano-edit-scaled

The original plan was to combine hundreds of smaller images shot using my robot pan/tilt unit, but I realized this may not be necessary if I can get sufficient resolution from a digital SLR.

The next step is to break this image into tens of thousands of colour regions using the same method as used in Watching and Dreaming. I can then explore training a SOM on the features of these regions. One approach is to overlay the SOM on the original image such that the features of each region are the initial weights in the SOM. The learning rate and neighbourhood function could then be modulated according to aspects of the original image, hopefully resulting in a blend between structure as interpreted by the SOM and the structure of the original panorama.