About Kilgore661's Photographs

You can read an article about me in the BANA Newsletter here but you need Flash to see it. It is somewhat outdated now.

My photographs are a special kind of image made with leading-edge technology called a gigapan. The term derives from the prefix giga- (meaning "billions" or, less formally, "huge") and panorama; hence giga-panorama or gigapan for short. As photographs, gigapans are special for two reasons. First their size: a typical gigapan is roughly 100 times the size (in area) of an ordinary photograph, and the biggest gigapans are 10 times larger again. Second, due their size, the only practical way of viewing gigapans is on a computer. By using simple software people can "fly into" a gigapan image, creating an immersive, interactive experience.

Flying into a gigapan evokes a sense of wonder in people. I want to harness this visceral experience to build communities, to heal old wounds between neighbours and create respect for the World. My tactic is to give people a sense of wonder and then introduce them to others who have had the same experience. My hope is that people will identify with each other and the shared experience will create a bond between them.

Adults are partly formed by their childhood experiences and children frequently experience wonder on their journey to adulthood; one might call them wondernauts. By creating gigapans one creates a virtual interactive wonderland for children of any age (I am 48) to explore, share and take with them on their journey through life.

These are my words expressing that which drives me forward. The ideas they contain are broadly consistent with and partly derived from the aims of the Global Connection Project although I have no formal connection with the GCP.

The technology used to make gigapans is challenging. The technology used to view gigapans is much less challenging, but it is not quite simple enough to use without a modicum of instruction. This is a major problem in making gigapans accessible and it is a problem on which I am actively working.

Gigapans originate in the world of the scientist, but they are slowly crossing over into the domain of photographers, wondernauts and the simply curious. I hope my work will open the doors to artists in particular. However, I am not a scientist, a photographer or an artist: within these communities I am perceived as an outsider and it is difficult to find a forum in which to share and develop my ideas.

 

About the Gigapanographer

Kilgore661 read mathematics at Leeds University before going on to complete a Ph.D. in theoretical computer science, also at Leeds. He was a lecturer in computer science at the University of Manchester and University College, Swansea. He spent a year doing long distance cycling, coming third in a national competition before deciding he needed a life and became a consultant critical systems engineer in Bath.