Structured light scanning is a technical procedure that measures and records the three-dimensional form of an object and allows it to be used as a model. Parallel stripes are projected onto the object in question and recorded by a camera, with the three-dimensional body producing distortions in the lines from which its shape can be inferred. These distortions can then be converted into spatial coordinates that, with the help of specialist software, can be used to create a digital copy of the object. For his Jahresgaben edition, Ludwig Kuffer has produced a photograph that continues his long-term engagement with visual technologies. Beyond Kuffer’s obvious interest in how these devices function, he is especially drawn to the untapped potential of their aesthetic, which is usually only visible to their operators, or even exclusively to the apparatuses themselves.
Slight irregularities in the stripes here suggest the light was projected through the sharp cracks of a thin metallic surface. Besides its cool materiality and dissecting gaze, which conveys a sense of scientific objectivity, the image also brings to mind the motifs of popular photography, where light falling through half-opened blinds is meant to plunge a scene into a dreamy or erotically charged atmosphere. The beauty contained within this ambivalence enables previously unfamiliar technologies to take on a sensual dimension. The shadow that is formed under the fold of the paper is thus not simply a redundant and uniform piece of data, but a cool and shady spot, like that under a palm leaf.
– Max Beck
Photo: Cedric Mussano