39°N, -105°W
digital, 2016
Special Thanks
Zach Lieberman
Taeyoon Choi

Every breath is a step in time, as we breathe our memories blur and present becomes the past. It is our breath that drives us to capture moments, our breath reminds us of this ever present motion that we attempt to fight by holding onto frames of time. It is also breath that can allow for deep reflection, by paying attention to our breath our memories can come back into focus — we can gain some control over time.

39°N, -105°W attempts to use breath as a lens to explore the past. Each image in this piece is composed by averaging the images taken during a specific trip into the backcountry. These composites represent imagery more akin to memory — faint and ghostly representations of color, texture, & figure. As you watch these composites breath peels through them and reveals the images that make the composition. It is breath that allows for these moments to come back into focus as it was breath that directed the capture of them.

Download the code and try for yourself.

Please enjoy 39°N, -105°W

Shot at Iva Bell Hot Springs, Ca.
37°N, -121°W.

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Shot at Lost Coast, Ca.
40°N, -124°W

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Shot at Ostrander Ski Hut, Ca.
37°N, -119°W

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Shot in Bavarian Alps, Germany.
47°N, 10°W

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39°N, -105°W was exhibited at SFPC's Summer 2016 Showcase.

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How it Works

39°N, -105°W was built in openFrameworks during a 10-week program at SFPC. This project was made using albums I've taken on film during different trips to the backcountry. Each image was averaged together to create the composite image seen. The title 39°N, -105°W is an average of all the geo-coordinates of the trips included in this project.

The application slowly transitions from trip to trip by replacing one photo in the average at a time. In an offscreen buffer a breath pattern is drawn which is used to manipulate the averaging, allowing you to see into the composite image.

For a more in depth explanation watch this video.

Some early versions, tests, and failed attempts.

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