Topographic Objects

For the  “Topographic Objects” project, I developed an algorithm in order to make soft sculptures from maps centered on some of my previous addresses.

Procedural algorithm to create topographic objects:

 1) Choose location for which to make sculpture. Using create topographic map of selected address or location. Zoom in on location as much as possible. Print on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.

2) extract all of the possible shapes within 3.5-diameter circle around centered location, employing both lines signifying streets and lines signifying physical forms and elevation. Number all shapes

3)    Enlarge shapes to 6 times their size. These are the patterns to be transferred onto fabric.

4)    In order to determine the color of each pattern I printed a satellite image of my location

5) In order to determine which shape pattern would be traced onto which color of fabric, I used a computer program called IDEA Data Analysis to create a randomized sample based on the zip code of the location (IDEA is primarily used by accountants to organize and audit data). I create a very uncomplicated sample. In the first column I entered each the 40 numbered shape (1-40), and in the second column each of the 7 colors (1-7), Then I had the program create an algorithm or equation based on the zip code of the original location that extracted these shapes. I originally extracted the shapes form where I live in Portland and the zip code there is 97202. The program gave determined which shape would be which color.)

6) Next I traced the patterns onto the appropriate colors of fabric as the IDEA software told me to.. I sewed all of the patterns of fabric together by referred back to the original topographic map and stuffed the sculptures with cotton to make pillow-like soft sculptures.