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.
“Right before ECHO-9 came into being, ECHO-8 was born. It’s a more minimal rendering of this now familiar kitchen scene. The foreshortened wire-frame wall and the placement of the zoomorphic cluster behind the figure on the right introduce spatial cues that weren’t present in the original source photograph.”
– Victor Acevedo
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