A tale of flesh, bow, bones and sun



Detail from a sketch for an animated svg trying to link elements from view, bitmaps, vector, color, and printmaking. Pierre Huyghebaert (2015)

Imagine a terrestrial perceiving a vector for the first time: walking on the flat surface of a beach, the sun is setting behind her. She is bow hunting for birds. As she bends her bow back, she feels how pulling the tight string transfers forces to the strong bones in her arm, and how the curved wood of the bow is in sync with her muscle fibers. All these lines, straight and curved, are also drawn by the sun as her shadow stretches out on the sand. She shoots the arrow, and notices how the trajectory that started pseudo straight, bends more and more with the deceleration of it. She feels how rays of sun project her transformed shape on the sand, following a real straight line as a shadow. That arrow could be seen as a vector-wave-movement. She might then be looking closely at the border of the shadow, and see the very moment where some grains of sand are lit up by the sun. So many corpuscules-pixels-bitmap, visualising at the same time the two main components of digital images, and the two ways of describing tangible matter. There are two matters within the digital: the molecular, which we recognise as bitmap, and the ondulatory – the vectors.

This tale was envisioned for this publication but finally written for "Up pen down", a performance with OSP and Adva Zakaï at La Balsamine, Brussels (2017). It was slighly edited to be inserted here.