Ground Truth

Sheung Yiu

2019 - Ongoing

Pixel is the smallest unit of a digital image. At the moment we encounter a pixel through zooming into a digital image, we reach its resolution limit. Here seeing stops and the image dissolves. We suddenly find ourselves looking at an illusion comprise of a collection of pixels, each an indexical reference of the scene it captured. But if we push forward and zoom in further, looking past colours and forms and into the data of a pixel, we will begin to see again, this time a very different picture, with the help of simulation.

Ground Truth attempts to answer this question by embarking on a collaboration with scientist Daniel Schraik, who is conducting his PhD research in the field of geoinformatics. To see through the pixel, Schraik keeps zooming in. He has been working to improve the reflectance models of trees. By studying how different aspects of a tree reflects light, he is able to develop a better interpretation model of forest satellite imagery. In other words, his research attempts to reverse-engineer the act of seeing – seeing a tree from a pixel.

Appropriating the research data of “From needles to landscapes: a novel approach to scaling forest spectra”, the project explores the concepts of simulated seeing and ask "how nature is understood through the act of seeing". The point cloud models, photographs, instruction manual, drawings, and data obtained from Terrestrial Laser Scanning are interweaved to reveal the complexity of seeing and truth in the age of algorithms.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • Digital art using data captured from the terrestrial laser scanning of a tree

  • The result of one terrestrial laser scan of the surveyed forest

  • Research Danial posing in front of the TLS scanner and a marker which he uses to create 3D point cloud of the surveyed landscaped

  • From the researcher dataset, a simulation showing how light is scattered by a twig.

  • A Finnish Forest split in half by sunlight

  • Researcher Aarne and his laptop, which he used to record spectral data

  • Researcher Aarne doing spectral measurement while sweating

  • Hemispherical photograph of the canopy juxtaposed with a retinal image of my eye

  • A metal grid photographed in front of a shrub

  • A researcher measuring the height of a tree.

  • digital art of a twig wrapping around a glass sphere

  • A spherical marker reseachers used to stitch together multiple 3D laser scans of the surveyed landscape