Rasterbation

life

Jain statue rasterbation

I've been itching to try out The Rasterbator (careful how you say and type that one), which accepts an ordinary, low resolution image, and lets you print it out at almost any size by stitching together a number of A4 sheets. In my new office/spare room, we have an enticing blank wall that was crying out for a nice, serene, but striking image.

It's a pretty easy process. You upload an image (you can see my original here), then choose what size of paper you want to use, whether you want landscape or portrait orientation of each of the sheets, and how many sheets you want to form the final image (which determines the size). You can also choose whether to keep the original tones of the image, make it black and white, or choose a monochrome tint. It then crunches the image and gives you a multi-page PDF to download, where each page is printed on a separate sheet to form the final image.

I printed mine out on an inkjet on ordinary paper, then fixed the sheets to foamboard with spray mount. Then it was just a case of blu-tacking them to the wall. I ended up cropping the original image a bit, partly because I realised I'd only got enough foamboard for 12 sheets, not 16, but also because I think the composition is a bit more striking.

The original, if you're interested, was taken at a Jain temple at Shravanabelagola, India, and depicts Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali, who is reputed to have stood meditating so long that vines grew up around his legs and arms. The statue is about 71 m tall (you can get a feel for the scale in this photograph), but the detail of the carving is exquisite, so I chose to focus on his hand and the leaves. I find it quite a tranquil image, like the original.

Rasterbation is a fun way to produce giant images, and if you use plain paper to print on, it can be very cheap. I'm thinking of printing a seascape on acetate next, and mounting it on a kind of home-made lightbox to hang above our bed.

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