My father used to compare me to baggage during our times of traveling together. He was right, I wouldn’t prepare for the trip at all. Neither did I know what to see, nor did I know what to do. Years later, my friend would call me the same during a trip to California. There were four of us – one of us was American, the others were Russians. Back in those days my English was poor. I couldn’t joke, I didn’t understand what these guys were talking about, and so I would be playing games on my smartphone. Then I learned how to drive.
However, for most of my trips I use public transport to get from one city to another, which, frankly, takes up a lot of time. I have my iPhone but I don’t want to play games anymore. So what’s left? I can read only when it’s absolutely quiet and its rare in the countries I love to go to. So most of the time you find yourself looking out the window, listening to music or talking to fellow commuters if you happen to know the language. The same happens on the route to your school, work, airport, and the like.
Five years ago in Morocco I found a way not just to observe what’s behind the window, but to play with that. Since then I have been making panoramas of all the countries I’ve been to.
Russia, USA, Mexico, Iceland, Germany, Italy, France, Latvia, Poland, among others.
I make panoramas each time I’m in а moving car, а bus, a train or even а plane. Even on a horse.
For a smartphone camera it’s really hard to register everything it captures when you’re moving fast especially on a bumpy road. Depending on the speed certain objects shrink, some replicate but most of them just disappear. It’s a lot like our memory.
There is no certain method to get this right. Each time you’re capturing it’s an experiment. Panoramas on smartphones are joined from many tiny vertical stripes of the photo to be able to merge objects without seams. Usually you turn around yourself, so each stripe is made from one point of view. However, when you are in a moving transport each stripe has its own point of view a centimeter or more (depending on the speed) apart from the previous stripe. That’s why some panoramas look realistic and surrealistic at the same time. There’s no perspective. We rarely see sides of objects. This new reality looks fairytale–ish, and amply interesting for us to explore.
Much like a gamble, where you cannot predict which of those cards will help you win, you play around with the Panorama Mode. Is it going to be poetic, absurd, beautiful or not at all? Is it worth capturing or not? You keep playing, unsure of what will happen. Only in my case cards are: buildings, wires, cars, people, etc. Make a panorama you haven’t created before, better than the last. Which is why, even in the midst of unpredictability, when I’m on the road I feel excitement, be it in the traffic or even when it’s shitty weather outside.
I think the panoramas’ greatness comes from chance presiding over man. The greatest things in life are divine accidents. For me it’s the only thing that keeps life from being dead. Everywhere there are beautiful accidents. “Every time one would happen, boom! Genius would come out.”
My goal is not only to be the artist who is acknowledged and lauded for making these kinds of panoramas, but to start a huge wave in this niche and conducting exhibitions of other people’s panoramas from around the world. Change the way you see “boring reality”. Play with our routine landscapes. If you are tired or just want to play (mess) with what you have been given. Unpack the present.
My friends already send me their own such panoramas. But only when I succeed in inspiring people from around the globe, will I feel this project has achieved a level of wholesomeness. Let’s call it «attractionism» (rus.).
Contacts: [email protected]
+7 916 342 0518 (telegram, whatsapp)
Watch Andronik´s video of how panoramas are generated. It’s a smartphone screen recording.
A big part of Andronik´s projects are vertical videos. They are meant to be used in exhibitions, so any person who stands in front of them (as it is a window) could try his technique to make their own panoramas.
“Opening Siberia” — Tobolsk, Siberia, Russia
19 August 2018
“Opening Siberia” — Moscow, Russia
Andronik Khachian, born in Moscow: I’m a graphic designer, an actor and a producer. My family is amazing, our family tree can be traced back to more than 600 years ago. I’ve lived in San Francisco for a couple of years. I travel as much as I can and meet people. This year I was in Mexico twice, traveling all around the place and making friends and panoramas.
I have a lot of experience in various art/design fields. Originally I’m a graphic designer, and did that for almost 15 years. I still do graphic, web and app design. I have also worked as an art director in many fields. Six years ago I made my closing brand. When it was just three months old I was invited to made a show on Mercedes fashion week. However after the show I’ve decided that I reached what I wanted and closed the brand.
After two years studying (art direction in advertising) and working in an academy agency in San Francisco, I went back to Moscow and became a theatre actor in 2015. In 2016 I went to a film school. First half of the year was spent on ‘film directing’ and second on ‘director of editing’. I shoot clips and videos for friends – musicians.
For the last three summers, I volunteer as a counselor at an art camp for kids where we put on plays, shoot videos, make art, dance, and go nuts.