Todd R. Forsgren
Ornithological Photographs / The World is Round / Post-industrial Edens / Resume
Untitled Re:Iterations / An Imperfect Representation / Other Works / Order a Book

Staring at the Sky and the Screen

Dreaming of Other Celestial Bodies
Wondering What They're Looking at
Breaking Branches and Bending Grids
Measuring Half-lives on the Horizon

Artist's Statement

Bayer Filter Array Garden, Acrylic panels with grass or moss, 2014.

Last summer Mika dreamt of a red and green and blue fence.
She imagined that it extending across a wide river,
lumpy, as though Claes Oldenburg had sculpted it.

But the fence had never existed outside of her dream.
So I decided I wanted to try to make this fence for her. 
Then she started research for an article on Carl Andre and Japanese gardens. 

And my wires got crossed. Our conversation shifted to Tōfuku-ji. 
I remember when I first saw the grid of the west garden, back in 
Intro to East Asian Art, with Professor Clifton Olds.

Back then, his ideas of everything and nothing where filling my brain, 
as I looked at the grid of billowing bright green moss and hard edged 
granite squares that Mirei Shigemori had made.

When Mika reminded me of this garden,
I saw a color array filter, the one used in cameras,
a beautiful mosaic of RGB, named after Bryce Bayer.

This Bayer color array is used in used in millions of digital cameras.
And has been used to take trillions of digital photographs.
This mosaic is a grid of pixels in a repeating pattern.

Each square gathers data for just one color channel: red, green, or blue.
Mathematics use probability to fill in the other color channels.
Averages based on data from neighboring pixels, creating full color images.

These intricate algorithms normally work quite well,
but sometimes the data is unclear the camera starts to guess.
The result of this is what we call digital noise.

Bayer Color Filter Array Garden is a huge physical version of this pattern.
The patter of colors interferes with the edges cameras look for…
so though these edges are so apparent to the human eye.

The camera's sensor begins to see noise along these edges.
The image breaks down more and more and more,
as the size of the squares of the grid approach the size of a camera’s pixels. 

Each pixel is c. 1/4 the size of a pixel of resolution in USGS satellite maps.
I hope that someday, one photographs this garden,
and the garden confuses the hell out of those satellites. 

While I haven'y photographed them yet, these are theoretical drawings of what
might happen depending on how the satellite's sensor alligns with the sculpture: