Bryan Meador

Folded Photographs

On the subjective nature of photography

Untitled 7, 2018

This body of work explores the subjective and malleable nature of photography by digitally folding photographs, one over another, and combining multiple images to create one seamless, multidimensional, and subjective composition.

In the post-truth era, it’s only natural that photographs would become mutable, impressionistic, and object oriented. This work seeks to  acknowledge photographs as objects within the creative space rather than as documents of truth.

Since it’s origin, photography has been viewed by the masses as a vehicle for truth, but to technicians and connoisseurs, the malleable nature of photographs has been apparent for just as long. The digital age has enabled a new, heightened level of manipulation which I seek to address with this body of work.

I believe that photographs function as rhizomes as defined by Deleuze and Guattari, “ceaselessly establishing connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences and social struggles.” Photographs are a product of time and therefore are also subject to it’s changing and subjective nature.

Photographs are entering a new mode of possibility; no longer saddled by the burden of truth telling, photographs are free to entertain the suggestive, and evocative quality that painting enjoyed around the time of the invention of photography. This freedom should be exercised and understood through the use of many photographs at once. As a storytelling device, successive photographs are endowed with a narrative quality and can be used as a story telling device when seen in relation to one another.

Untitled 3, 2018

Deep Green

CO2 Sequestration through Kelp Cultivation

Single frame structure - side view

Naturally inspired frame structures enable CO2 sequestration and ocean de-acidification, creating sustainable, cleansing aquaculture environments.

In the struggle to combat climate change we must take advantage of every available technology to assist in correcting the conditions needed to sustain life on earth, especially utilizing the natural technologies that earth provides.

Kelp forests’ potential to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification and hypoxia are a long overlooked positive outlier within the natural sea ecosystem. They grow quickly, sequester CO2 at a rate 20 times greater than land based forests, remove nitrogen from their environment and only require a firm footing, light, and nutrient rich water to grow. There are many places in the world where these conditions exist naturally, but these areas are generally too close to land (and therefore populated and expensive) to utilize on a massive scale.

I propose the development of frame structures that extend the conditions necessary for kelp forest development into otherwise unsuitable areas of the ocean. These frame structures utilize the successive branching forms found so often in nature to support the kelp in light filled areas, while efficiently delivering nutrient rich water from lower in the water column and creating an enclosed, protected environment in which a complex and symbiotic ecosystem can flourish.

The frame structures would be made of translucent carbon polymer, a recycled byproduct of discarded plastic found in the sea and can be arranged in several different formations, depending on their intended environment. The basic four part petal structure is best suited for shallow environments while a vertical, spiral orientation could more effectively utilize vertical space. 

Four petal structure - top view

Kelp forests can remove more than 20 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than land forests. They can grow at an incredible rate, up to 2 feet per day, and absorb nitrogen from their environment, an essential component in the creation of ocean dead zones.

The frame structures would be built of a transparent carbon polymer, a recycled product of discarded plastic found in the sea. 
This material is strong and its transparent quality would allow light to pass through the structure, allowing young kelp to grow and develop protected by the scaffolding before growing outside of the framework.  


Exploring the limits of digital photo-based complexity using organic forms and refraction

Bouquet 1 (refraction study), 2018

This body of work endeavors to explore the abstracted and erroneous 3D forms that are produced using from low-fi 3D photogrammetry software when directed at natural forms.

I’m fascinated by the intricacy and interrelation of natural forms and the current inability to accurately re-create these forms in a 3D digital environment. With this work I’m seeking to illustrate the gap between natural materials and digital technologies using light and form.

In his book The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton describes hyperobjects as a way to ‘refer to things that are massively distributed in time and space relative to humans.’

In an effort to fully understand the rhizomatic natural world that surrounds us, we must strive to investigate the micro and macroscopic levels: the granular closeup and the bird’s eye view.
This disparity in scale challenges us in much the same way that photogrammetry technology is challenged by the intracacies of organic forms.

Likewise, this disparity in scale reflects the challenge we confront when considering many contemporary issues, like climate change or the way that computers are manipulating and changing our very consciousness.

What does it mean to “envision” climate change? Civilization? The Anthropocene? 

Lemon Verbena Root System (refraction study), 2018

Forsythia Leaves 1 (refraction study), 2018

This body of work seeks to investigate and “envision” the overlay of the minute and the vast as they inform our ability to see ourselves in relationship to our world and ideas.

How can we reconcile the singular and the whole, the problem and the solution?


Chapter I

Untitled 7

Blending art, science, and architecture, this body of work explores the process known as tessellation (an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together, especially of polygons in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping).

This successive branching organization is excellent for moving currents from one place to another in an effective and evenly distributed and is found throughout nature (think of the the flow patterns of rivers and the capillaries that bring blood into our lungs and brain, the structure of trees and their root systems, and the path of lightening just to name a few examples). 

This work was inspired in part by Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane who write extensively about this form in their book “Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology and Social Organization”