Archives for the Month of January, 2013

Benjamin Betts – Geometrical Psychology

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Benjamin Betts’ Geometrical Psychology, from 1887, contains a sequence of delicately toned geometric figures intended to represent no less than ‘the evolution of human consciousness from the animal, zero, or starting point, through to the culmination of human possibilities – the transcendental’. Originally educated as an architect, Bett’s resolved to to end his career determined to visualise the internal through his idiosyncratic topological models.

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Attempting to map consciousness using mathematics, without considering the elementary state of neurology and psychology in the 19th Century, may be seen by some as a ridiculous pursuit. Dataisnature is happy to eschew scientific rigour, in order to savour Benjamin Betts’ metaphysical topologies. These illustration are worthy of attention by virtue of their forms, colours and aesthetic purity alone. In fact it might not be so ridiculous to attempt to visualise conscious states through the use of geometry, after all, since certain conscious states [hypnagogia, meditation and psychedelics] appear to act in unison with [or generate] geometric forms perceived within the visual field.

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Geometrical Psychology - Benjamin Betts Geometrical Psychology – Benjamin Betts

Related Posts:
The Musicality of The Two-Way, Magnetic-Electric Thought-Wave Universe of Walter Russell
Thought-Forms & Occult Chemistry
Emma Kunz – Geometric Visionary

Owen Schuh – Calculation and Iteration Drawings

Recursive Network – Owen SchuhRecursive Network – Owen Schuh

Owen Schuh uses mathematical procedures, sometimes with the aid of a calculator as well as bespoke drawing machines, to generate emergent drawings which evoke computational and natural system visualisations. One of the key aspects of Owen’s work is the use of simple formulae, iteratively, to direct the growth of complex structures – local calculations give rise to autonomous and unexpected global configurations.

Disturbance – Owen Schuh Disturbance – Owen Schuh

Owen comments on his process:

‘Although the spectre of determinism and reductionism lurks behind every corner I find the process of utilizing mathematical rigor to actually be a liberating one.  Though I must submit to the dictates of an algorithm I gain access to new formal and structural possibilities. In most cases, though each step is rigidly determined the end result cannot be predicted ahead of time nor can it be worked backwards to deduce a unique original state’

Turbulence – Owen Schuh Turbulence – Owen Schuh

Owen uses well known rule-based systems such as Cellular Automata, circle packing algorithms, L-Systems and Fractal geometry to create his works. Step-by-step computations simulate activation and inhibition processes so that each temporal slice has the possibility to generate new branching and subset behaviours. This process is made visible in works such as Turbulence and Disturbance, where linear patterns insinuate the chaotic and stochastic behaviour of fluid flow and velocity fluctuations.

Related Posts:
Erwin Keustermans – Patterns by Partition
Michael Kukla – Cellular Vortex Fields
Clint Fulkerson – Autocatalytic Life-Forms
Bruce Pollock – A Scroll Through the Alluvial Cellular Terrain
Robert Horvitz – Quantum Symmetries
Reese Inman – Algorithmic Pointillist

Selected Tweets #18: Micromegas, Markov Walks & Cloud Cities

Diane Lange - Recursion FlowerDiane Lange – Recursion Flower.

Selected tweets from my Twitter stream.

Anil Bawa Cavia’s Markov Walks trace the trajectory from De Stijl to Random Walks by teaching an Alterbot to draw.

Diane Lange’s Nature of Code Flickr Sets include Recursion Flower & Stem, both delicate spatial arrangements in muted colour-space.

Motstudio’s have generated abstract modular/graphical interpretations of classical music – L’Aurore Sonata No5 & Lesquatrestacion.

Diane Lange - Recursion FlowerL’Aurore Sonata No5 – Motstudio

Hans Kottler creates optical light works and installations using coloured plexiglass, LEDs & backlighting techniques.

Daniel Libeskind’s Micromegas are unexpectedly complex schematic/blueprint style architectural drawings from 1979.

Maurizio Sacripanti Lyrical Theatre in Cagliari [1965] – With ‘infinite configurations of scenic space’.

Diane Lange - Recursion FlowerObserver2 – Bjoern Scheulke.

Bjoern Scheulke creates anthropomorphic sculptural abstraction using sensing devices and observation systems.

Tomas Saraceno’s Cloud City is a non-linear constellation of interconnected modules that were floated above the New York Met.

Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture – Interview with Herwig Weiser for Neural Magazine

Death Before Disko -  Herwig WeiserDeath Before Disko – Herwig Weiser

Herwig Weiser [AT] is an inter-media installation artist/sculptor working with electronic information and data systems, sound installations and process-based chemical systems which are tied together with engineering and programming disciplines. I interviewed Herwig for Neural Magazine #41 [Addictions] in January 2012. The interview was carried out on Skype.

Paul Prudence
You’ve said that you very much want the viewer to interpret your work as they see fit and that you are not interested in stamping any meaning into your works. To this end the following questions are related to my readings of your work I’ve experienced at arts festivals and in exhibitions and are meant as triggers in our discussion.

‘Death before Disko’ appears as an alien of fetish of technology, a totem from another civilisation attempting to communicate with us. Its stroboscopic lights threaten to entrain us and the revolving zeotropic ferro-fluids, within it, send us into a trance. ‘Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture’ also uses the flicker process to pull us in. Can you tell us more about the decision to add pulsing lights in your works?

Herwig Weiser
My sculptural installations relate to my work as a film maker. This can be seen for example in the way I work with the light, or how I introduce narrative and performative elements into the installations. Specifically in ‘Death before Disko’ I used a ring modulation to trick the triggering of LEDs to light-up the magnetic fluid which would then create nervous liquid formations that were fully apparent when you were near to the sculpture. So the flickering effect was very important for the perception of the movements of the animated matter inside the sculpture; it caused the magnetic liquid to appear as if floating on the light. In ‘Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture’ I use various combinations of chemicals lit in complimentary colours which are switching simultaneously in very short intervals – from 10 milliseconds to 12 milliseconds – to create its own sculptural moment. Each viewer perceives the work very differently.

Death Before Disko -  Herwig WeiserDeath Before Disko – Herwig Weiser

Paul Prudence
I was wondering if you are interested in the history of flicker in structuralist cinema?

Herwig Weiser
Of course, you mean Peter Kubelka and Tony Conrad?

Paul Prudence
Yes and also Brion Gysin with his Dreamachine. So these works resonate with you and have influenced you?

Herwig Weiser
Right, this kind of flickering light is one of the essential elements of film.

Paul Prudence
Aside from this sculptural process and aesthetics of light, are you also interested in the entrainment aspect of stroboscopic lights and the perceptual effects generated by them?

Herwig Weiser
You could say that - in the works I mentioned the light becomes psycho-visual, it effects the psycho-visual perception. You have maybe heard of  how in some cases watching Manga films would induce epileptic seizures in those exposed to the image. There is a kind of drama attached to such phenomena and I would like it, as a certain form of dramaturgy, to be a part of my sculptures.

Lucid Phantom Messenge -  Herwig WeiserLucid Phantom Messenge – Herwig Weiser  

Paul Prudence
In ‘Lucid Phantom Messenger #1′, biomorphic forms are generated from sonically transduced electro-chemical reactions. The synaptic growths and tendrils seemed to have been generated through a process of mutation. Are you interested in a kind of compulsive pathological beauty or an aesthetic of toxicity?

Herwig Weiser
Sure, and these forms and aesthetics come about through an autonomous process. I literally feed the sculpture with varying electrical charges, the sculpture then acts as a mass of autonomous formations born out of the relationship between art and chemistry, they start to exhibit another kind of dynamic, they change in a live process, occurring as unique constellations, you could relate this process also to the context of painting. In ‘Lucid Phantom Messenger #1′  the actual pigments of the chemical matter and the shapes and mixtures generated in the reactions become part of the composition. I’m interested in the unpredictable things that can happen when I pass electricity through these chemicals – for me this is the most interesting part of it.  

Lucid Phantom Messenge -  Herwig WeiserLucid Phantom Messenge – Herwig Weiser 
 
Paul Prudence
So there’s an interesting relationship between the artworks and their authorship, as you seem to be creating environments or systems in which might be considered generative or emergent.

There seems to be an ongoing fixation with noisy and dynamic electro-acoustic sound compositions in most of your artworks, at times they might considered even nihilistic or hedonistic. Could you tell me about how you work with sound?

Herwig Weiser
The sounds in ‘Zgodlocator’ are raw analogue sounds. I use simple piezo systems that are often found in electric guitars to generate them. It’s not just about adding sound to a sculpture but using sound as an integral part of the artwork. I used various kinds of microphones, which I manipulated to produce the frequencies I needed.  The sculpture became a musical instrument, in which dead material was reanimated by the electromagnetic waves. Whereas in ‘Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture’ the sonic component was used on a conceptual level. The work is a sculpture whose aural expression is not perceptible; the sound seems absent but it is not – the ultrasonic waves act on the chemicals and cause them to combine and separate again, although under normal circumstances they would be immiscible. The high-frequency sound is imperceivable to the ears, so the sound element remains hidden from the viewer. 

Lucid Phantom Messenger -  Herwig WeiserLucid Phantom Messenger – Herwig Weiser 

Paul Prudence
In ’Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture’ liquids are mixed in a close system to create unpredictable patterns and convergences which you have described as ‘ further development of experimental film’. Could you explain some more about this idea? 

Herwig Weiser
All my installations could be also seen as cinematic installations – the effects of the light passing through the animated chemicals can be seen as a kind of expanded cinema. ‘Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture’ is primarily an electro-chemical projection device transformed into an autopoietic sculpture. Some of the chemicals I use in this sculpture are based on film processes. In ‘Lucid Phantom Messenger’ I use Silver Oxide which is a standard chemical used in film developing. So you could see this is as interpretation of the very tradition of film developing procedures which results in a reconfiguration and transmutation of a sculptural filmic processes.
In this work I am also using materials which are unpredictable in their visual reactions, such as raw components of explosives, or various customized liquid crystals. You can say I am addicted to experimentations and unpredictable material actions. 

 Zgodlocator -  Herwig Weiser Zgodlocator – Herwig Weiser 

Paul Prudence
Looking at your artistic output it seems that it is difficult for you to let go of an idea – you often rework a particular piece into subsequent and modified versions that form a series. ‘Zgodlocator’ & ‘Lucid Phantom Messenger’ both have multiple versions – the same concept created with different hardware set-ups. Could explain a bit more about this relationship you have with your pieces, this repetitive seemingly addictive ongoing dialogue with them?

Herwig Weiser
I’m experimenting with certain kinds of materials in the context of installation – I use them in a similar way in which  a painter is always using oil paints and pigments. In my case these would be for example pulverization of metals, the breakdown of liquids, dynamic geometry. I connect materials to machines, but the machinery parts of the work are not specifically interesting to me, conceptually speaking. I’m not interested in the representation of technology itself. I am more interested in exploring the mechanisms and effects of contemporary artifacts with the means of machinic installations. If the work uses electro-magnetic principles in the constructions – it’s not about the electro-magnetism itself, it’s not about the history of magnetism, it’s really about the sculptural processes and the unpredictable artistic experiment.

 Zgodlocator -  Herwig Weiser Zgodlocator – Herwig Weiser
 
Paul Prudence
So in a sense its not about repeating yourself and going back to these same concepts time and time again – its more that you’ve found a set of materials (in a sense no different to paint or clay) that you are comfortable with to explore and are having an ongoing dialogue with – is that the case?

Herwig Weiser
Exactly. But in this aspect it also has to do with a reinvention of raw materials, a process of transmutation and reconfiguration. But speaking of dialogues, there is also the dialogue of the work within the space which is very important. I approach this question very carefully and try to produce a unique set up for each space. 

Ambiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture -  Herwig WeiserAmbiguous Cut Into Space of Conjecture – Herwig Weiser  

Paul Prudence
Could you tell us about the research and experimentation that go into developing one of your sculptures, are there any particular areas of science you a particularly fixated with and do you keep up to date with latest developments?

Herwig Weiser
In my sculptures and installations I don’t explicitly refer to science itself. I am however working with such topics as optical phenomena and properties of matter – these topics are also part of contemporary scientific discourse and I did cooperate with scientists in developing some of my works. But at the same time I try to go beyond this.