Archives for the Month of August, 2007

Transphormetic V6 – TalysisII & ryNTH

talysisII & rynth - paulPrudence
Rynth – Paul Prudence

Recently I uploaded video documentation of some of my VVVV work that has been shown to the public at exhibitions and at live VJ/Music events.

Talysis II is constructed with a loop of renderers, each passing its output to the next renderer to produce an endless visual information loop. The initial starting shape is a lowly white square or Quad, the final result is a set of complex symmetrical geometric patterns as the Quad is transformed a little in shape, position, orientation and hue as its ‘conveyed’ around the loop. One of the key attributes of generative art is in its use of repetitive of elements arranged in patterns or multi-form elements spread to produce a decorative space – Talysis II does this by simulating a recursive function using information feedback.

ryNTH is evolving object in space textured with a pre-processed coded video stream that reacts to sound in predefined ways. ryNTH concerns labyri(nths) and nths (unspecified ordinal numbers). ryNTH uses the Superformula Shader in VVVV.

‘A set of chattering memory satellites communicating with each other from different spaces’ – cm

The Vasulka Archives

The Vasulka Archive
Machine art – Exhibit of Inter-Graphics – Stan VanDerBeek

The Vasulka Archive is massive repository of documents from the pioneering days of electronic, computer and video art. Containing a staggering 27000 pages of scanned documents, replete with hand typed texts, circuit diagrams and skuzzy ink marks, I could spend the rest of the week perusing this stuff, believe me. The big names are here, Crutchfield, Conrad, Paik, Van der Beek, Youngblood etc – hand written correspondences to the Vasulka’s as well as reviews and even obituaries of each artist/scientist – but history is selective and remembers according to its own algorithm. Encouragingly, not only do we find artifacts from the so called key movers of the time but also an exhaustive list of lesser, and relatively unknown practitioners waiting to be (re)discovered.

Looking at these documents you really get a feeling for a time when electronic art was an alchemical practice, where hands on circuit bending was a necessity and not a genre. Where there was a feeling that something truly exciting was happening, where artists wrote their own software, or begged for time to used on computers during out of hours college time because a machine with a few thousand kilobytes of memory would cost tens of thousands of dollars to buy. When computer generated films would take months to make even if it was a few minutes long as each frame had to painstakingly applied to optical print.

Another thing I find interesting when scanning through these documents is the metaphysical/philosophical questions being asked in relation to these new art forms, the connection with myth, evolution… the implication of digital and electronic art not only on the art world but on the world as a whole.

Steiner and Woody Vasulka are pioneers of Video Art in their own right having produced many provocative works from the genre’s hey-day in the early 60’s. It is also notable that they were among the founders of the Kitchen in New York in 1971.

‘Through the use of complex electronic imaging tools, the Vasulka’s has been able to explore the relationship of sound to image from a variety of angles; creating pieces in which the audio is controlled by the visual, the visual is controlled by the audio, or both are controlled by an outside source. In their continual investigation of the electronic nature of video signals, the Vasulka’s morph image and sound recordings to create unsettling hybrids.

‘Electricity has made angels of us all’ – Edmund Carpenter

Greg Smith – Serial Consign & Vague Terrain

Greg Smith’s regularly updated blog Serial Consign is a diving board for a diverse range of topics, philosophical musings revolving around electronic culture, its history and its key movers. The excellent posts often contain very good overviews of projects with cross-referencing to related works, avoiding the common ’list-of links’ blogology we often encounter in these time constrained days. Some of the highlights include interviews with the likes of Santiago Ortiz who is well known for his elegant info visualisations and musician/DJ Jan Jalinek aka Farben of loop-finding fame.

Another project Greg is involved with is Vague Terrain, which he co-edits with Neil Wiernik. It’s a ‘journal of online digital arts published quarterly that promotes a wide variety of digital art, audio and theory.’ Past issues have dealt with stuff we love, Minimalism, Generative art and Digital Detritus (Glitch). The most recent installment deals with sampling culture and includes ColorScheme a moving “spectral painting” composed of textures sampled from Hollywood cinema by Jeremy Rotsztain

‘In the history of visual arts, color has been used psychologically in expressionism, emotionally in impressionism, physiologically in optical art, and symbolically in medieval painting. ColorScheme places a lens over Hollywood cinema, inviting the audience to recognize it applications and uses of color.’

Vague Terrain is currently assisting in the programming of the X Avant festival in Toronto in September. Judging by the content promoted at VT we can be sure this is a good thing.

Flickr Fruits 8

Analogue Miniature 15 – Danmcp

Eric Gjerde, star of the tessellating origami world, is doing a fantastic job of uploading the classics in the field of ornamental study as well as a new treat; the obscenely beautiful ‘Kunst-Formen der Natur’ by Ernst Haeckel. Haeckel’s masterpiece has probably been referenced at dataisnature more than any other book, indeed dataisnature is the proud owner of at least two copies! If you haven’t seem the wonderful geometric complexities of the radiolarians before, tiny creatures that live deep in the oceans, go and treat your eyes to a feast now!

More visual documentation comes by way of Insect54’s excellent Graphic Design Books set. Focusing heavily of colour, type and geometry, the pictures feature spreads from works by Wim Crouwel, Karl Martens & Jochen Stankowski. Inspirational.

Danmcp’s minature paper retro analogue sythns, keyboards and tape machines are gorgeous. Each is exquisitely crafted and exacted in splendid retrotechnicolor.

David Lu – Computational Drawings

David Lu - computational drawings

David Lu’s computational art is marked by linear geometric & abstract forms in natural & muted colour palettes. Fine lines build up organic shapes, sometimes in multiform the shapes appear to take on the form of small organisms, microscopic computational bacterium, tiny flagellum or crystals. Produced in C# and Processing they provide a nice counterpoint to his hand draw work which appropriately accommodates a set of similar colour palettes and appreciation of space and composition with a refreshing quirky style. David studied at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy where, among other things, he experimented and explored microcontroller programmed physical interfaces. His documentation of sketches produced during that time is well worth perusal

‘I write software to help create drawings. I am interested in evoking imagined, otherworldly structures in my work. My software produces visual results that are not purely generative, but rather semi-automatic: a human input is required.’ David says in his artist statement at Computational Drawings.

Mark Napier – Permutations of a Monument

mark Napier - cyclops
Permutations of a Monument – Mark Napier

Permutations of a Monument is a set of recent works from Mark Napier that were shown at the Bitforms gallery earlier this year. Skyscrapers are deconstructed and reconstructed, in the Smoke software piece, into less linear and more organic compositions, almost melting while swaying. ‘Teetering on the line between organism and architecture, Smoke speaks to a morphological tension between static physical structures of power and those that are information-based’. The Cyclops series, on the other hand, evokes an organic hybrid futurism and cubism with a satisfying complexity and colour selection. ‘Named after the Cyclops, early artisans of Greek mythology, imagery in Napier’s recent prints metaphorically follow the birth, rise and fall of a being that lives and dies by its ability to fashion material forms.’