Projects and ventures
A long-term project to develop an automated method of modelling the building stocks of cities, both domestic and non-domestic, and their use of energy.
Canaletto’s contemporary Antonio Zanetti wrote in 1771 that “Canal taught the proper use of the camera obscura.” 20th century historians have debated how exactly the painter might have employed the instrument. Some scholars like Michael Levey and J G Links, while allowing the possibility, have dismissed the question as ‘dreary’ and with little bearing on Canaletto’s style. Italian art historians, including Terisio Pignatti and Decio Gioseffi, have been more positive and inquisitive.
High-Rise Buildings: Energy and Density
A research project, carried out in 2015-2017, to study the relationship of energy use to height in office buildings, and the relationship of built form to urban density.
The London Building Stock Model and the London Solar Opportunity Map
The London Building Stock Model (LBSM) has been developed for the Greater London Authority and contains data on every separate domestic and non-domestic building and its use of energy in the 33 London Boroughs.
TV & Film
David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge
A film directed by Randall Wright, about David Hockney's argument that many artists in history have used optical aids.
A film biography of David Hockney, directed by Randall Wright, for the British Film Institute and BBC Arts, 2016. I discuss Hockney’s art briefly
Other films on Vermeer and the camera obscura
Other films on Vermeer and the camera obscura for which I have built cameras, and in which I have appeared
Take Nobody’s Word for It
A television programme largely devoted to Vermeer and the camera obscura, directed by George Auckland and Hendrik Ball for BBC 1 in 1989
The Piero Trail
A film for BBC Omnibus directed by Anna Benson-Gyles, to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Piero della Francesca
A film in which Tim Jenison 'paints a Vermeer' using a type of camera obscura, together with a 'comparator mirror'. I paint a picture of a pottery jug with Tim Jenison using his mirror device, and discuss Jenison’s finished version of Vermeer’s ‘The Music Lesson’ with him and David Hockney.
Evolution in the repeated copying of designs
Experiments with the repeated copying of drawings show that they tend over time to become more 'diagrammatic'.
In the 1960s I published Form, a magazine whose aims were declared in the first number: “…to publish and provoke discussion of the relations of form to structure in the work of art, and correspondences between the arts.