Drawing Machines: The Face in Perspective

What I developed for my conference project was a series of drawings to be printed out, folded, and placed on a wall to apply unique perspectives and angles to the face that would otherwise not be shown. While there are only 9 faces, I printed out multiples to act as a kind of matching game to see the different ways in which folds can shift the character of a face. While it’s often to utilize different variations of valley/mountain folds, often they will have accentuated features – like bulging eyes – that draw the viewer in.

When we talked about printing out our faces to add a layer of identity to our folds, it stuck out to me. Folding up paper, or anything in general, meant to give something a new shape and purpose in its design, and in turn its own identity. So the fact that we could work with something that already existed in such a way, and give it this second identity through the lens of our folds stuck out to me. It perplexed me that we didn’t continue the idea for more than two classes, so I decided to stick with it for my conference project.

What challenged me at first was how I wanted to expand upon it in my conference project. I thought of simply working with my face, either in different expressions or contexts, but I felt as if that would be too consistent. I shifted more to the idea of drawing out the faces for myself, allowing myself space to apply my talents as an artist to draw different faces. Whether it was with different features, expressions, builds, it all would help form a bigger picture. 

Given the scale that this project would allow, I thought it smart to only use rudimentary valley/mountain folds for most of the faces. To avoid repitition I would vary the amount of folds, resolution, and where the faces would be pinned down when placed on the wall. The focus and main idea of the project was relying on being able to experience the faces in a three-dimensional context, and this design idea was supposed to sell it. It often worked extremely well, where some of the faces were given little optical illusions with the folds, such as the eyes following the viewer. There were also some that were given more unique variations, that not only accentuated certain features, but relied upon where they were placed on the wall, so that some would appear to look down on you, and the others up.

One of the main focuses of my critiques for this project was what it could mean. Given the subject matter, its need for a meaning seemed self-evident. The project in the end became a testament to how we see each other, by experiencing our identities on multiple levels and dimensions. While it relied on how we see race, origin, features, eyes, mouth, hair, etc. – It also mattered as to how we walk by or stick with these faces. While the viewers don’t necessarily get to have conversations with them, I had plenty of experience making them: and I don’t get to pick favorites between them.

Author: Jules VanRy