To observe a river as it meanders is a bit like watching the grass grow. You can know it is happening. But you cannot see it.
Augmented photography can be used in the digital arts to over-code upon real-world environments with computer-generated data, in order to translate stimuli across sensory modalities, and thereby extent or increase our faculties for perceiving spatial and temporal relations. Because of this media-specific affordance, the augmentation of the photographic medium may have especial application for the “physiognomic gaze,” a way of doing “form interpretation” or “nature knowing” based on the physical behaviors and psychological phenomena of the human face, head and body. The innovativeness of such technological prosthetics becomes manifest how new ways are generated to both perceive and to know those experiences that were previously unseeable or otherwise unsensable. Here, I converse with Cedric Kiefer (co-founder and creative lead) of the onformative studio for digital art and design in Germany about their works Meandering River (2017), Pathfinder (2014) and Google Faces (2013). And we explore how onformative uses the augmented photograph in their digital artworks to extend the physiognomic gaze, bringing data not visible to the naked eye into the senseable sphere, to offer the audience different perspectives about space and time.