NightWatch is a continuation of panOptic's recent work, which has been exploring and then reinterpreting the urban landscape.
Living in NYC, I am both inspired and depressed by my surroundings. I started working on this piece the summer of 2003 not long after the black out we had in NYC, having for the first time seen how the city looked at twilight without a single artificial light. And later, how it looked pitch black. Not only had I never experienced anything like this before, but I had never even thought about how it might look. These are the kind of events that help me to understand my environment in a more complete or whole way. Just like it might if the block started to turn while I stood still, or if the lit windows became positive spaces moving on their own logic. This kind of visualization unplugs me from my banal relationships with familiar space (the block I live on). The idea for this piece came to me soon after the black out, traveling by plane at night. What you see of cities is based solely on the lights that are left on. These traces of human habitation become vector points for architectural space. I wanted to see how this implied architectural space might seem if the points where to come apart, even move organically, and then reform.
The piece itself was constructed from close to a thousand digital stills of the block I live in the Lower East Side in Manhattan, which were pieced together and then texture mapped onto the corresponding building shapes in 3D software.