ABOUT ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN
Created in the Spring and Summer of 1987, the ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN series is Victor Acevedo’s first major collection of digital images. At this stage, he was beginning to refine his approach to using the computer graphics software that he had access to. More facile imaging tools were becoming available on the personal computer, first on the IBM PC and its clones. In the mix were the early Apple computers and, soon, the Apple Macintosh. The ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN series also served as a bridge to his previous nine years of visual art making with analogue media, including painting, drawing, and film work. He had experimented sporadically with algorithmic art software since 1983, but this was the first time his digital imaging was built directly on a photographic source, not unlike his methodology when developing a painting or drawing.
The title of the series comes from the term "ectoplasm". This is defined as "a supernatural viscous substance that is supposed to exude from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and form the material for the manifestation of spirits." In some of the images, Acevedo’s allusion to or approximate graphic metaphor for this substance is expressed using clusters of tessellation patterns or a linear space frame that articulates the space and/or envelops the figures that appear in the picture.
Some of the images in the series, even though they contain the same “cast of characters,” suggest narratives that are tangential or even digress from the original theme. In those cases, they are given their own unique titles.
The working method was to first make a line drawing that was a traced distillation of the original photograph. Acevedo then drew polygonal areas corresponding to the various changes in luminance values throughout the image. The drawing was then “brought into the computer” with an RGB camera scan in three color passes. Once on the screen, the polygonal areas were traced and filled in using the draw line and polygon-fill commands provided by the software.
Ten images from Victor Acevedo’s ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN series are now being offered by EXPANDED.ART in limited editions via Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) authenticated on the Ethereum blockchain for the first time ever.
The ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN series was created with Artwork software on an IBM PC (AT) running DOS (Disc Operating System). This was 2.5D vector graphics software licensed by West End Film/Pansophic. 2.5D means it supports mouse-controlled manipulation of on-picture-plane graphical objects within any implicate or explicate polygon domain towards convergent perspectival vanishing points. However, the software’s computer graphics capabilities would not be classified as those of a full 3D modeling system.
The original DOS-based image files were saved to a 5.25" floppy disc, usually written to a ‘Pansophic’ flavor of the PIC or Hex format. However, the NFT-linked JPG files on offer were produced from high-resolution scans of 35mm slides that were output via a 2K Matrix digital film recorder directly from the original computer files in 1987. The slide film was developed by the artist himself in a small, dark room after hours at the business-to-business 35mm slide production service bureau, where he worked in the Spring of that year. The one exception here is that the image called ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN V01 was scanned from a 4x5" transparency output from the original digital file, circa 1988.
ABOUT BATHE MATRIX
"Two figures in a kitchen amidst an ocean of energy graphed in metaphor with the edge vectors of an octahedron-tetrahedron network."
This image, called BATHE MATRIX, actually predates the eponymous ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN V01. It is the second or third image produced in the iterative process that built up the ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN series. Using a graphic metaphor that was first developed in his analogue media phase, Acevedo applies a linear network that surrounds and sometimes interpenetrates the figurative subjects. It is a metaphor that can be linked to the perceptual epiphany he experienced during a 1977 M.C. Escher-inspired visit to the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
In terms of methodology, this graphic device was derived from a network of lines that were produced by tracing a photograph of an actual wooden dowel and Styrofoam ‘node’ model built and photographed by Acevedo himself. It was his physical model of an octahedron-tetrahedron space frame that he learned about in his study of R. Buckminster Fuller.
Also in the image, in juxtaposition to the spaceframe, are the gray-lined edge vectors of the countertops and various objects sitting on the kitchen table. Their edges are, in effect, extended perspectival lines converging to vanishing points. Vanishing points that are indicated by virtue of the source photograph’s two-dimensional ‘mapping’ of the scene.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
ECTOPLASMIC KITCHEN SERIES is part of the exhibition THE THINKING MACHINE. PRESENTING PIONEERS, 1953-2023 on view at EXPANDED.ART in Berlin from 6 to 27 JUNE 2023. The exhibition, curated by Anika Meier and Georg Bak, is a collaboration between EXPANDED.ART and ELEMENTUM.ART.
ABOUT THE NFT
Contract address: 0xd3e5cd00435f2758ed9ba54cb65cb557e74339e5
Token standard: ERC-721
Metadata: Frozen and decentralized