Zoom is a way of looking and seeing that discovers and uncovers secret connections between seemingly unrelated events, views and scales. Zoom asks you to look closely and carefully to identify patterns, see parts to the whole and connect seemingly unconnected ideas into a narrative. ZOOM is also a way of thinking, that while you are looking at one thing, it is actually a part of a larger idea. For instance, your salt shaker at your kitchen table is part of the scene that is your kitchen and includes the table, everything in that view and even the view out the window. With Zoom thinking, you can think about the saltshaker, where it was before, or where it came from. Perhaps it appeared on a store shelf. Go there next and capture that scene. Perhaps the salt came on a plane to your city to the shelf. Before it was put on the plane, it had to be harvested in a salt lake and dried and put into a bottle, to be flown to the store, to be picked up by you, to be taken to your kitchen table. ZOOM is a capture of a journey of how things come to be, what happens to them, or what could happen in dreams.
ZOOM is a way of image-making and story-telling.
Activity 1 – Zoom Out!
ZOOM out means to pan out from one scale of a scene or image into another larger scale of that scene or image. Go to your bedroom. Do a drawing of your pillow. Next, do a drawing of your pillow on your bed. Do a drawing of your pillow on your bed in your bedroom. Do a drawing of your bedroom in your house. Do a drawing of your house on the block. Next draw your house on your block in your neighborhood. When you are done with this drawing, draw your block in your neighborhood in your town or city. Then draw your town or city on your map. If you really want to zoom to the outer known arenas of the universe, watch Powers of Ten.
Activity 2 – Zoom IN
Zoom in means to pan in from one scale of a scene or image into a closer scene. Let’s start with something close at hand. Look for a pattern in or around your home or school. With care, draw this pattern and then color it to reveal its texture and hue and materiality. For a few days, look at that pattern and think about being a bird in the sky or a giant in the clouds looking down on that pattern. Imagine yourself peering closer and closer until the pattern begins to form structures. Make sketches of 9 zooms coming closer and closer and closer into your pattern. Make your pattern a pattern of landscape, a pattern of a city, or a pattern of structure. Watch Moleskin Journal Zoom.
Activity 3 – Flash Back ( or forward) ZOOM
Flash Back Zoom asks the viewer to work a bit harder in putting the whole picture together. Flash Back Zooms begin in the past or present and moves to the present or past! It starts in time and changes the sequence of the story to connect backwards or forwards. This ZOOM develops memories and links moments working backwards and forwards while revealing a story.
Activity 4 – Tell a ZOOM tale
How do we transfer ideas or images? Start with a picture. Story board eight more shifts in scale or ZOOMS from the original image. Do you move out, or in? Do you move forward or backward in time? How do you ZOOM? The key in this type of Zoom is always to keep something that the viewer connects with in one image in the next image. This type of zoom can reveal surprises in twists and turns and can even tell a story!
Activity 5 – Transfer or Fantasy ZOOM
Imagine you are a bug on a blade of grass, but then you are grass in a field by the edge of the ocean and then a plant on an ocean liner. Next, put your plant on the ocean liner beside a beach with children and people playing and laughing. Make this scene a billboard beside a highway on the way to the beach. Make the last image a stamp in a person’s hand. Make the stamp the corner of a suntan lotion bottle. Draw the suntan lotion bottle in a person’s hand. Draw the whole person on a beach towel. Draw the person on the beach towel with the suntan lotion…back on the ocean liner in the ocean!
Have fun ZOOMING!
- To ZOOM means to:
- Pan OUT Means to move away from:
- Pan IN means to focus in in or magnify a smaller area making the smaller area look larger.
- All Zooms are linear
- ZOOM is a good way to see connections between objects, spaces and people and the natural and built environment.