Sunday, August 13, 2017

Modeling the Liberty Memorial - In Process

I traveled to Kansas City a few weeks ago.  I was very interested to image a monument in that city; the Liberty Memorial that is the focal point of the National World War I Museum and Memorial.  I've visited Kansas City a few times and have always been drawn by the simple elegance of the structure and the striking effect the monument has on the landscape as well as the psyche of the viewer.

In advance, I stopped by the museum and found out who to talk to - the person in charge of the facility.  I exchanged email with them, introducing myself and showing them some of my previous drone-related projects.  Once I got that person's approval, I contacted the FAA to alert them to my plans in advance...  The monument is less than five miles from an airport - Downtown Airport - so I need to coordinate with the tower. 

I planned to image the memorial on Thursday, July 27.  The weather was uncertain with clouds and potential rain but I went to the memorial as scheduled - My time in Kansas City was limited.  I notified the FAA tower by telephone of my intention to perform drone operations over the Liberty Memorial.  Once I arrived at the memorial, I set up my equipment at the southwest junction of the two paved walkways, one running from the base of the monument, one running up from the entrance to the museum, on a bench.  In the above image you can see me and my bench at the bottom left.

I performed two flights totaling 37 minutes between 10:28 and 11:07 at which time I was forced to stop flying by rain.  I waited for some time for the rain to subside but finally called the tower to officially end the flights at 12:30.  The above image shows both of the flights in yellow, which is a drag.  I'm using the new browser-based Google Earth which does not have a rich a toolset as the old standalone version, so I can't set the two flightpaths to use different colors.  Anyway, I digress.

I took a total of 588 photographs from the drone and an additional 66 by iPhone.

I'm presently processing the 654 photographs into a model. I'm doing this on a laptop so it's taking a long time.  It's been running for 170 hours and expects to use 287 more.  Sheesh.  Do you know how much juggling it takes to do actual work on the laptop you have to use for everything while still running this crazy background job?  Can you imagine how crushing it would be to have the system abend at this point in the processing?

This shows the photogrammetric representation of the model after photographic alignment and sparse point cloud generation.

The above shows the model representation after depth reconstruction.

I did produce several spin-off works from the photography.  Some you will need to go check out on Instagram ( or Facebook (  Here are two others...

'Steps'. Shot on iPhone.  Photoshopped; the clouds are actually from an image I use frequently that I shot a few years ago over Hartland, Vermont.

'Tower Looking South'.  I love the detail on the 'Guardian Spirit' (Liberty Memorial elements).  The angles of the reflecting pool, terraces, and deep lawn leading to the south really catch the eye.

In other news, I will be showing a work, Swirls Twin, in the Governors Island Art Fair this year.  The fair is on Governors Island, a short $2 ferry ride from NYC, and runs every Saturday and Sunday from September 2 through October 1.

Friday, July 28, 2017

DC Arts Center - Wallmountables

A few of my things are in another open (unjuried) show -- currently on display Wed-Sun, 2-7 p.m. (plus anytime there's a performance on) at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW (upstairs). Through September...10th, I think? (Adams Morgan Day?)

(That's my thing on the right. "Ways to Be Angry #2")

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July: Wet Specimen

Me (djh), I'm trying not to bake in the underinsulated Aerie, trying to write a(nother!) book. I've been walking around my city finding tiny dead things. I haven't been looking for dead things on purpose; it's just a season of tiny murders, tiny calamities. What's everyone else up to?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Status Check - Bxiie

Hello!  I'm not dead, just quiet.

It's now spring in Vermont.  I've come out of relative art hibernation and it's time to get ready for the sculpture festival season!

This is a prototype of a sculpture design that I am going to be using twice this year.  I will be building the first incarnation of this at Playa del Fuego, a Burning Man-related 'regional burn' in Middletown, Delaware over Memorial Day weekend.  I'll be building during the festival and burning it on the last night.  My first burnable art!  I'll be building a second version for an outdoor show in southern Vermont later in the summer.  I'll be participating in Sculpturefest again with a different work; maybe a four-foot-tall PVC thing?  

The last several years I've been incorporating a lot of technology in my art.  This is neither good nor bad; just a thing.  This summer, though, I'm going to pull back a bit from the hardcore tech like I did last season.  The flashing lights are fun and electronics has a place in my future, a bolt in my quiver, but for now I'm feeling like going back and exploring my plastic roots.

The above assemblage includes a PVC piece from two years ago, a bit of hardware cloth, some random metal bars, and a few pine boughs.

Well, maybe.  I've been flying a drone for a few months now - In fact, I've got my commercial operator's license.  So technology is going to continue to have a significant impact on my art this season.  The above image is based on several hundred photographs of Zion's Union Church in Maxatawny, Pennsylvania.  The images were post-processed through a photogrammetry program to create a 3D model of the church.  I dropped the model on some clouds from elsewhere (over I-91 in Hartland, Vermont, if you must know).

I spent some time this winter exploring how much fun it is to have a red car in the monochromatic winter landscape.

I sold the red car in March, though.

I love the serendipity of the burnout rubber mark shape where I happened to park.  The boot was open so one can read my license plate.

This is the Black River, just south of Downers in Vermont.

Sorry for the radio silence.  I'll try to keep you updated.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

never be empty inside

DH2 are pleased to report that we have sold a few things. Artomatic 2017 is ongoing, through May 6th (logistical details in prior blog posts), but the following items will now be observed to sport little red dots. It's not a rash! We thank our beloved patrons!

(Top to bottom: "Empty Inside," "The Galaxy of Rusty Tools," and "The Weight of Perfectionism," all digital prints on aluminum by Dan X Herr. "Now she knows she'll never be afraid," found-object assemblage with tulle and rust, by Dorothy J. Hickson)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Meet the Artists (and the Art)

"Sobriety Dwarves - H.A.L.T." by DJH
Artomatic 2017 is in full swing, and it's a fabulous show. Seven storeys of wild creativity, conveniently located across from the Crystal City metro. (Parking right under the building is free after 4 and all weekend, but be sure to enter on the 20th St. side at the Synetic Theater sign, not in front of the Marriott.)

The DH2 room is on the 9th floor (space 9609/9610) -- Dan will be on site this Saturday (4/8: Meet the Artists night #1) and we both expect to attend Meet the Artists night #2 on 4/29 & closing night, May 6th. Come visit!

- From the elevators, choose the wider doorway. Cut through that room and turn left; we are the first door on the left.

- From stairs/ restrooms / bar, walk along the outer hallway and peer into the interior rooms until you see the one painted cyan & slate, with the tantalizing black velvet curtain in the corner:

"Reflections On The Current Power" by DXH --
step inside and close the curtain for a proper view!

Monday, March 20, 2017

We have such sights to show you...

We are hung! Art (not pictured) by DJH & DXH is now happily installed at Artomatic and will be there till early May. Come visit.

Artomatic specs:

1800 South Bell is right across the street from the Crystal City metro station. The parking garage (free, evenings & weekends) can be entered from the other end of the block, at 20th Street.

The DH2 room is on the 9th floor (space 9609/9610):

- From the elevators, choose the wider doorway. Cut through that room and turn left; we are the first door on the left.

- From stairs/ restrooms / bar, walk along the outer hallway and peer into the interior rooms until you see the one painted cyan & slate, with the tantalizing black velvet curtain in the corner.

Guided tours by appointment. Dan may be in attendance for the April 8th "Meet the Artists" night; I need to stay home and watch "This Is The End." I expect we will both visit on 4/29, and we're sure to be roaming the building one last time on May 6th.

Friends and admirees of ours are exhibiting throughout the building -- floors 3 through 9, and there are bars (beer, wine, sodas, snacks) and performance stages as well. Be sure to check out the Opulent Tarnish Salon on the 8th floor! (8503/8504)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"The thing was generally complete, but the twisted crystalline bars lay unfinished upon the bench..." (H.G. Wells, The Time Machine)

DH2 are hard at work - we have chosen our room (9609/9610, ninth floor) in the new Artomatic building in Crystal City (1800 S. Bell Street, right across from the metro). We have sketched out the space on graph paper. We have financed the mixing of paints. (Now what's that sound from under the door? What the hell is he building in there?)

Dan's Instagram page is here and below is one of his fabulous aluminum prints. Come to Artomatic to check out the rest, and to find out what he's building in there....

I have a lot going on too, but just at the moment I'm nostalgic for my first Artomatic installation in Crystal City, so here is a picture of that (photo by filthyrusty). It's not going to look like this.

Come see us, and our stuff! Artomatic 2017 opens on March 24th and runs Wed-Sun till May 6th. (It is free to get in, and the parking garage is free on weekends. The show's hours are Wed/Thu 12-10, Fri/Sat 12-12, Sun 12-8.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

DH2 in the [abandoned office building]...

Artomatic 2017 is in the planning stages! We will be back in Crystal City, right across from the metro, March 24 through May 6.

It's a weird disused office space now, but soon it will be preposterously transformed... Come and see!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


I wrote this thing. It was therapeutic to write. I feel super weird about promoting it. Click here (trigger warnings: sexual assault; incipient regime).

I did not know anything about getting webzine-published; it was already live before I asked about non-stock photographs. I would probably have used this one? Which may explain why I am not editor of a webzine.