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3DVisA Index of 3D Projects: Digital Arts. 3D Photography

Photosynthegraphy by Céline Guesdon

Céline Guesdon examines the relationship between art and technology and explores novel ways of creating and interpreting images. She perceives photography as volume images: using a prototype camera she generates a 3D mesh from a single photograph, often re-using her own works. The human body is her main subject, but she also portrays more elusive subjects such as drops of water.

Fig. 1. Corpsfilaire # 2,3,4, by Céline Guesdon, 2004. © Céline Guesdon. Reproduced with kind permission.

She looks at the body structure and internal circulatory networks of vessels, and represents the body in a 3D mesh (corpsfilaire). The metamorphosis of forms brings a new meaning to ordinary subjects, and an unusual spatial effect to the photographic medium. Her digital work is carefully planned and sketched prior to shooting. Various props employed in some of Guesdon's figurative photographic compositions are designed and crafted. These physical objects, such as headdresses and 'wings', encase the sitter and work as extensions of body parts. Thus the natural mixes with the artificial, the real with the fantastic, and eventually all these different realms blend within the virtual.

Fig. 2. Ondine, photosynthegraphy by Céline Guesdon, 2004. © Céline Guesdon. Reproduced with kind permission.

In March 2004 at the Rennes School of Art, and a year later at the SIGGRAPH Digital Salon, the artist presented an interactive, audio-installation titled Ondine. She filled a gallery with a series of eight suspended pieces. Each piece consisted of two- and three-dimensional photographs, some of which showed conjoined female figures, one with a body of 'real' flesh, the other of a polygon mesh. 'My intention was - explains Guesdon - the exploration of a body in transformation. The skin is made translucent, dyed to form a reddish flow, it returns us to the fluid, our invaluable haemoglobin, a substance which gives life to a synthetic skin.'

Guesdon employs a wide range of hybrid photographic and imaging techniques, from traditional silver print to digital imaging and 3D laser scanning. She finds her art akin to digital alchemy and calls it photosynthegraphy, which she explains as 'the fruit of an astonishing hybridization between photography and the virtual world of the three-dimensional synthesis image'.

Fig. 3. Photoscans by Céline Guesdon, 2003. Two stages in the creative process. © Céline Guesdon. Reproduced with kind permission.

About the artist:

Céline Guesdon is a graphic designer with REALVIZ SA, a media company located at Sophia Antipolis, the technology park southwest of Nice, France. She is also an independent photographer and academic. In 2006 she obtained a doctorate from the University of Paris 8, having completing her thesis in the area of digital imaging and Virtual Reality at the the Department of Arts and Technology of the Image.

Further details:

Céline Guesdon's website.

Céline Guesdon's blog.

'Céline Guesdon', ACM SIGGRAPH 2005 Electronic Art and Animation Catalog, Los Angeles, California, 1-4 August 2005, International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques archive, PDF.

Guesdon, C. (2006), Toward a New Kind of Image: Photosynthegraphy, Leonardo, vol. 39, No. 3, pp.193-197.

Record compiled by Anna Bentkowska-Kafel, 11 September 2006. Last updated: 24 May 2014.

3DVisA gratefully acknowledges the help of Céline Guesdon with preparation of this record.

© Céline Guesdon and 3DVisA, 2006.

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