Stereoscopically me

Born in Cologne in 1956, I studied painting (grad.) and philosophy at the renowned Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf. Right from the start of my studies, in my artistic work I focused almost exclusively on stereoscopic experiments in drawing and painting. In 1981 my early drawing of a chessboard was published, Immaterielles Schachspiel, the very first artistic graphic of its kind which is called Stereoscopic Anamorphosis (aka “phantogram”). Some exhibitions and numerous commissioned works in resp. from the inland and foreign countries did follow, and 1984, still as a student, I showed Nighthawks 3D, the very first 2D/3D-conversion of an existing (two-dimensional) painting.


Me, speaking at an opening
© 2022 Martin Modes, Bayreuth

With my stereoscopic ana­mor­phosis of Neuschwanstein castle, published in 1994, I reached a new level in this area of three-dimensional pictures; several variants of that item were produced, among them the largest of its kind which lies on the ground and is to be seen by the observer standing upright.

Since 1995 I am also working on animation of stereo­scopic anamor­phosises. Sequences of different size and length have been shown at the Stereoscopic Displays and Appli­cations Con­fe­rence in San Jose, 2005, at the photokina in Cologne, 2006 and 2008, and on several occasions in Berlin between 2008 and 2018, as well.


Starlight Express II with prism stereoscopes in front, Chatterbox exhibition, 2014

2007, at the Inter­na­tio­nal Stereo­scopic Con­ference S3D-Today+ in Munich, I presented the world wide very first phan­tograms which can be interactively ope­rated by the ob­server, thus pro­viding a new kind of real-time VR/AR in the field of high-end/low-cost app­li­ca­tions, no matter what size they will be, without particular hard­ware, and enabling the use of any 3D data sets.


Setup and checkup of the very large interactive phantogram at Q110, 2014

From 2008 to 2018, I held a lectureship, was a founding member of the Institute for Design Research as well as founder and head of the 3D Lab at the BTK, Ber­liner Technische Kunst­hochschule, University of Applied Sciences. 2014, within an exhi­bition at Q110, in cooperation with Heinrich Hertz Institute, dept. Inter­active Media / Human Factors, my students and I presented a very large stereo-anamorphotic floor-projection which can be touchless interactively operated in real-time by the observer.

Besides these projects, I also turned to stage work for theater and opera projects, where I also adapted binocular visualization methods for the stage design and the ex­peri­mental extension or replacement of the stage set with 3D projections.

Some of my stereo­scopictures are to be seen in national collections e. g. Deutsches Museum Munich, Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin etc.

Achim Bahr (2022)