Category Archives: Systems Aesthetics

Systems Aesthetics: Text + Movement Revisited

For my conference project I attempted to develop a system out of my Blackspace project. Unfortunately, I don’t think I was successful. Beyond the lingering presence of what I felt was only a semi-system in the original, a system of meaning-making for the viewer, there was not much in particular that I could grab onto as of a “systems aesthetic” in this piece. However, I am very satisfied with what I accomplished visually. I also think that there are some strong directions laid out for me to move in and many potentials for systems development given due time. screen-0153 screen-0468 My first attempt to develop the project was in experimenting with text layout. I looped text in columns or large arrays overlaying the video. I actually did like the sort of graphic quality produced in these large arrays. Words became less legible and more like patterns, though still clearly within the realm of text. I also liked the way the dancers’ bodies were distorted seen through the text. However I wanted there to be some legibility over the course of the piece. Essentially I wanted to explore how the meaning of singular words could color an image, could almost subliminally undertone a viewer’s experience of image and also, importantly, of movement. screen-0978 screen-1073 screen-1132 Later in the process I decided to experiment with pixels. I wanted pixel data from the video to be read by the text and for the text to respond to particular pixels in the image. My vision was for the video to be read through the shifting colors of a text array, broken up by the form of the words, but the words also acting as windows onto the movement. As the video was of two dancers, two moving bodies (my parents), I wanted to produce literal bodies of text. I succeeded in getting text to dynamically read pixel-color data, yet only at one fixed point, so I could not produce an array of text for the whole video to bee seen through as I had hoped. I think I could get there with more time, though. Hopefully in the future I can continue with this idea. screen-4206 screen-2239 screen-1650 Ultimately I decided to use transparency as a technically simpler method of producing the aforementioned effect. I created a dense, low-alpha noise-field of text on top of the video, which itself had a low alpha value, making each frame ghost atop the last. The text then provided a sort of cell-structure for the faintness of the low-alpha video to “hang onto.” As new words were randomly grabbed from the text array, this cell-structure shifted, producing slightly different visual qualities. I found this visual effect quite beautiful and therefor wanted to linger on the colors and forms produced. To achieve this, I decided to slow the video down quite a lot, to .02 of its normal speed. Also, to maintain that slight legibility of text, I made a sort of margin of opaque text on the left-hand side of the screen, displaying what word the dancer’s bodies were being “seen-through” at any given moment. Overall I’m quite satisfied with the piece, but I think there is still room to play with the relationship of legible to illegible text. I also want to work the pixel-color reading function of my previous sketches with this one in order to create an even more complex play of color, form, movement, and language. I’m excited about where this project could go. In general, though, I’m excited about using language more often in my digital projects, because writing is a real love of mine.

A Later System, princess_me.png

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 6.24.49 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 6.24.45 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 6.24.38 PM princess_me.png is my attempt to make an infinite glitch system with a picture of a princess. Infinite in this case meant that the system doesn’t end. When trying to program the system, i kept getting this screen. I realize after several attempts that failed at making one, but inadvertently created another. Because the computer will try to execute the program regardless of the failure state, it had become infinite. My work feels connected to work done in class so far with Moyna’s “Astrophobia” and the other blackspace’s pieces. With the possible exception of one or two, they all felt infinitely repeatable regardless of the viewer’s presence. I feel this way because they will change regardless of a viewer’s presence: the piece living in the space of imagination and conjecture. I would, retroactively, connect my work with Bas Jan and his relationship with the concept of artistic failure. Although I have been frustrated with feeling failure before, I am tempted to almost masochistically create more failure for myself.

Systems Aesthetics: A Later System Video Glitch

My system glitches live stream video from the computer’s web cam. The project was a direct response to a glitch code developed in class that altered pixels of a given image. Since then I was determined to create a similar effect that could interact with the environment by means of video. Due to my interest in urban design and architecture I saw my system as a potential for sparking interaction in the built environment. IMG_5389 Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.56.39 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.18 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.41 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-06 at 5.57.58 PM   I consider this project a breakthrough my understanding and experience with systems. The desired outcome was a result of a complete randomness. Since i didn’t know how to achieve the goal of creating a video glitch program, I kept pasting and deleting code from my processing windows. At some point of the journey in loosing control, the system surprised me and presented itself with a result. I created several versions of the system, altering the values of pixel modification in the for loop. As a result, the first system gently mutates the pixels, creating a sort of pulsating grain, as presented in the screen shots. The second version is abstract and multiples the colors of the web cam input and translates it into constantly moving lines. Each line is a response and evolution of the environment. The system evolves this way endlessly. Last version of the system is the most surprising since it builds on the input from the last running of the program before closing. The lower part of the image is the capture of the previous run while the top is similar to the first version of the system. My system demonstrates a list of conditions developed during class. It embodies a set of relationship between the live-stream image and the output of the program. Is a process of constant motion. It is also self-evolving or self-adapting since it makes autonomous decisions and builds on the input to present unexpected results. The system has rules and boundaries defined by the processing code. It exists indecently from the observer and if not stopped, can go on infinitely.

Blackspace Post-Mortem

 
Blackspace Ideas 3

Blackspace Ideas 1Blackspace Ideas 2 (Image 1 is from the Frist in Nashville, while Images 2 and 3 are from the Art Institute in Chicago).

For blackspace I decided to play around with our polygon sketch from class. In class we had worked on adding more rules to the sketch as well as making the sketch self-evolving. In the beginning, I had no plan to even create a digital piece. It was announced that our blackspace presentations were the Wednesday after spring break and I figured I’d have time to find an analog system. I was in Atlanta over break and tried to immerse myself in spaces with systems. I visited museums in Nashville and Chicago, went aboard the MARTA in Atlanta, and walked around parking meters trying to find ideas. Above are some images from Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Chicago’s Art Institute. While the works of art I saw were incredibly inspiring, I realized I wanted to create my blackspace project in Processing to convey myself in a dark space. I started playing with the last in-class sketch. We’d left off with polygons colliding and bouncing around the sketch. I was inspired to take this further by changing the side count (to make it more circular). A number of polygons in the sketch mimicked anxiety. They were bouncing off the sides of the sketch and shaking. To induce this disquiet I changed the background from white to black. Despite the unrest from the polygons, I didn’t want them to be too jarring to the eye which prompted me to use my color wheel scheme from system 2. This led me to use a greenish/blue hue opposite a randomized orange hue. The make the system self-evolving I created a colorMode and if statement:  if (location.y > width/2){radius = radius * 2;}, which enlarged some of the polygons off of the sketch. I was most excited about adding music, especially a track that wouldn’t set any particular kind of mood. However, music inherently sets a mood. In a systematic way, I went through songs in my iTunes account looking for a track without vocals and one that was over 4 minutes long. The song I ended up choosing was “Insides” by Fort Romeau, a DJ from the UK. I had no idea who the artist was or the song. It was some download from NPR in their SXSW Top 50 songs playlist. Nonetheless, along with the colors, it sedated the anxiety from the polygons. After saving screens and exporting the video, I decided to play around with iMovie. In iMovie, I decided to restart and reverse some of the screens. Doing this, I realized that I wanted to portray different angles or scenes of the polygons. I didn’t want it all to be a continuous film of videos in reverse and videos moving forward. This prompted me to create a “break” titled “phase”. Kind of like phases of the moon, this screen served to divide the films and pause. I wanted viewers to have a second to breathe. The film began to remind me of space – even before I added the “phase” screens. To me, it captured the stress of the unknown, progress, and technology. With different polygons struggling to get out of the screen, flashing different colors, and finding themselves idle on the borders it captured my own anxiety. The music is a cover up of the anxiety since it’s much more smooth than the sketch. As I was told during the performance, it makes viewers want to dance and reminds them of a club. I was disappointed with the number of idle polygons – the ones that seemed to just want to relax at the borders of the sketch. Some just disappeared beyond the sketch despite my code to contain them. I was also disappointed by the video quality which is something I have to play around with more on YouTube and MPEG Streamclip. I was surprised when the audience said that it reminded them of a dance club – which, despite the music, was not really my intention. I’d be really happy if this was played at some dance club. However, my intention was to convey anxiety and distress over the future and otherworldly spaces. With the darkness, now knowing that it reminded viewers of a dance club, perhaps I would have people move during the piece. Maybe dance can be a variable of response towards the film – onlookers examining my anxiety towards the unknown. It would be a reminder that despite my anxiety towards space people will move on or dance on. Next time, I would see how many more rules I can add to make the system more self-evolving. Next time, I’d either take away the music or encourage people to move or dance during the performance. Ultimately, the music did set the mood. The mood it induced was not exactly the mood I expected people would have. Here are some images from the performance: Blackspace 1Blackspace 3Blackspace 2    

Systems Aesthetics: System 3

the-scream 687px-Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouchedCreación_de_Adán_(Miguel_Ángel) Name these 3 paintings. Watch my system. Now name them again. For system 3, I decided to glitch three famous artworks. These artworks can be recognised worldwide and by all no matter ones prior art history knowledge. Whether one knows the title, or just the artists name, or even just that these works are significant in someway, they are known and recognisable. By deciding to glitch these famous paintings, I am reverting how they are usually seen and am stripping them of the characteristics that made them famous in the first place. The glitching process causes the colours to be the most important feature of the works rather than the symbols, signs, meaning and the figures involved. Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.05 pm  Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.11 pm This system also becomes a commentary on the traditional view of painting and of the sacredness of the artists hand as well as appropriation. All of these three works are held in the most important art or religious institutions on the world, they have no numerical value instead their importance and value lies in the historical significance of the works but also with the artist. Placing such traditional paintings in a technological setting also is a commentary on what art is can be considered to be today and how the role of painting in the 21st century has shifted dramatically, although these works still hold great power. Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.25 pm Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.18 pm I think out of all the systems I have created this semester, this one ticks most of the boxes for the classes definition of a system and the characteristics it has to have. I think this system “uses simple rules to produce complex results” as when learning this system in class, I had no idea that the code would cause those results. My system 3 is also self evolving (our two favourite words) and it can exist independent of the observer. Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.37 pm Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 3.08.43 pm Creating this system was often based on chance. Changing the numbers whilst creating each individual system on processing I was able to manipulate the result; how fast the original work disappeared to be unrecognisable, how long the colours would move for, which direction the work would flow off the screen etc. I just chose random numbers to begin with before understanding the function of each and how it effected the result. When working with processing, this was the system that I most enjoyed learning in class so I thought that doing a glitch for my last system made sense. Over the course of the semester I have enjoyed creating both digital and hand made systems. I found the digital systems easier in their relationship to what our class defined as a system, however they were much more difficult to create in terms of the processing program as I had never tried anything like it before. Overall I think my coding skills have improved (well they didn’t exist prior) but by succeeding in this, I have surprised myself.

System Aesthetics: An Early System RandomCityTour

Rules of the RandomCityTour system:
  1. Make a cube and label each of the six faces accordingly: RIGHT, LEFT, STRAIGHT, BACK, LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN
  2. Pick a corner or an intersection of streets in a city, this will be your starting point.
  3. Roll the cube on the pavement and note the face that ends up on top. Follow instructions: RIGHT- turn right and walk, LEFT – turn left and walk, STRAIGHT – continue walking straight, BACK- turn back and walk in the opposite direction, LOOK UP – look up for 15 seconds and roll the cube again, LOOK DOWN – look down for 15 seconds and roll the cube again
  4. Keep walking to the next corner and roll the cube.
  5. The performance continues until you hit your starting position.
  6. Repeat as necessary.
    IMG_4034 map of the approximately 40 minute performance starting near Grand Central Terminal in New York City Walking with no purpose allowed me to experience the city in a unique manner. I suddenly felt hypersensitive to all the stimuli of the urban life, bodies, voices, street sounds, smell, light, volumetry of the buildings, irregularities of the sidewalk. In my mind I became an invisible observer, sinking into the lives of people I passed and into the brief moments/encounters we shared. Rolling the cube that decided the direction of my walk accentuated the chance we are led by every day. The lives and the moments we live are a sequence of statistically improbable events. Out of infinite possibilities of reality, our current condition has the probability of . We live in a limit as the moment approaches infinity. The inspiration for this performance came from my ongoing research of psychogeography and especially the concept of the flaneur as described by Walter Benjamin and the concept of the derive as stated by Guy Debord and the Situationists. The path to developing that system was sudden and the impulsive. Some of the challenges that I encountered during the performance was the physicality of the cube and it’s lightness. Sometimes the cube would roll over and it was hard to note it’s initial face. Moreover, as discussed in class the system is not self-evolving enough. Perhaps further investigation on the decision-making of the cube or introducing computer generated decisions that react to the environment or build on previous outcomes would better satisfy the requirement for this system.   Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.12 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.37 PM photos of the cube used during the performance Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.16.57 PM   link to the excerpts from the performance :  

Blackspace: Urban Obstruction

DSC_0105 The Black Space projects are systems that explore the constraints of darkness. My project plays on the idea of urban obstruction and access to public spaces. The projected video presents the reality of fenced open areas on the New York City Housing Authority properties. What should be accessible public land utilized by the affordable housing occupants turns out to be a long series of barricades wrapping around the buildings. While the video is projected, three lamps shine on the screen, making it invisible to the observer. The audience has to pass between the screen and the lamps and use their body to obstruct the light in order for the video of the urban barriers to be noticeable. In this project I continue to draw from my interest in architecture and urban design. The idea was born during lunch at the Office of Urban Design at the NYC Department of City Planning where I currently intern. A few urban planners were complaining about protected open areas in almost all Public Housing and expressed the difficulty of the ongoing conversation to remove the fences. In addition, I have been heavily influenced by my research on psychogeography and especially the book “The City As Interface” by Martijn de Waal. DSC_0110 DSC_0098 At the beginning my video was played through Processing and responded to mouse pressing. When the mouse was pressed, the program chose a random place of the video and played it from there. In order to challenge myself in developing a more self-evolving system, I altered the code. Once the mouse was pressed, the program chose a moment of the video based on previous input. First, when the mouse was pressed, it generated a random number from 1 to 5. Then it utilized the frame count at that moment to calculate the new start of the video. For example, when the random number generated was 1, the new start was calculated by subtracting the current frame count from the entire length of the movie and then by subtracting 1. Each number had unique operations attributed to them. That way the system has a degree of autonomy and choice as to what to reveal to its viewers. Running the project in front of a small audience in an isolated setting during the rehearsal was very successful. People were enjoying blocking the light and observing the video from that “obstructed” perspective. That position definitely focused their attention and allowed them to meditate on the video more than if it was projected regularly. I feel like the project would have been stronger if I had access to brighter lights. When none was covering the lamps you could still see a little bit of the video. During the show my work was challenging to enjoy. Due to constraints of space I had to constantly switch off my entire setting to allow other students to present their work in total darkness. As a result, my work was often omitted. In addition, there was very little space between the lamp and the video and it was difficult to encourage people to pass by it in a classroom/gallery setting. Moreover, altering the code made the video run very slowly and thus was harder to experience the urgency of the theme. In the future I would like to experiment with various spatial arrangement of the work as well as variety of obstructing lights. Perhaps adding colorful lights would enhance the experience of the work and make it more appealing to play with. Arranging the work in some sort of wide hallway or on the path to other works would also encourage viewers to engage with the system. Similarly, instead of using the laptop and its trackpad for pressing the mouse, it would be interesting to build a separate visually attractive devise of the same function that would invite the audience to influence the video. Lastly, developing a more successful code that could make the video run faster is recommended. Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.58.52 PMScreen Shot 2017-04-25 at 4.59.12 PM    

An Early System: lttle match grl

IMG_2889 IMG_2890 IMG_2891  IMG_2893 lttle match grl is a performance piece in which the audience is faced with the elements of the Little Match Girl to explore performance and story telling as a system. The darkness was never a constraint for me but I an added element of the story telling experience. Because I focus on body movement and the voice, I gave the audience free range to develop the images of this world. I had planned to use matches. Unfortunately forgetting them, I quickly used pieces of paper. These surprisingly made my piece much stronger. The sound provided an extra layer of anxiety an mystery to the piece that I was incredibly surprised by. I started this project by looking into Quad and children’s games like Ring Around the Rosy. These games provide the basis for which I add questionaries to probe the performers throughout the experience. The intent was to blur the line of the audience as a collective entity with related thoughts and as individuals.   For example, i’d ask very private questions that must be answer with shouting. This shouting gave a strange and vaguely threatening tone to the piece, but the more private questions made the audience further interested into being engaged. I overall feel the piece needs more work. It felt intentional but unnecessarily obtuse at points for my own liking. I would describe it as a system because it evolved in relation to an audience. The audience themselves and their collective number are the uncontrolled variables that changes the piece continuously through the performance.

Blackspace: Text + Movement

  DSC_0041 This was a text, video, and sound piece that uses the ArrayList function to call up individual words from a song’s lyrics at random as the song plays, creating a counterpoint to the song, the intended meaning of the song, and hopefully producing surprising new meanings for the viewer/listener. The initial song I used was Somethin’ Stupid by Frank Sinatra, which accompanied a video of my Dad dancing in Twyla Tharp’s piece Nine Sinatra Songs, which uses, of course, nine Sinatra songs for nine duets. I hoped that the dancing would emphasize the sort of contrapuntal “dance” going on between the text and the lyrics. To push this piece forward I hope to experiment with using different music and video and to make it much more self-evolving. At the moment, it is only “self-evolving” in the sense that the random progression of text, in concert with the predictable progression of the song (in the sense that it is pre-recorded), produces a sort of self-evolving meaning for the viewer/listener. However I hope to play with the text and image themselves in order to make their evolution and response to one another much more explicit. I might play with pixel glitching, now that we know how to do that. I also hope to incorporate the text into the image in a variety of different ways. I actually like the white box separated from the video, but I think there are a whole lot of other ways this could go. Callum’s idea of actually having the text in a subtitle format is great. I could even try to do a sort of sing-a-long follow the bouncing dot animation. I think that could be wonderfully confusing. Lastly, if I can manage this, I’d be interested in having a sort of ArrayList of videos with their own associate lyrics to call up at random or with some evolving ruleset. This would allow for cross-polination of text,video,sound and I think could lead to some crazy jump-cutting. Ultimately, I think I have a strong little sketch to work with here and I’m excited about the directions I’m envisioning.

Systems Aesthetics: An Early System

system2 The second system I created for the class is a “game” system called Number Swap. The game was created specifically for the class and the amount of people we have, but can be altered to fit any number of players. The game is played where each person is given a number 0-9, and the group walks around exchanging papers with one another for a set period of time. At the end, the group compares numbers. There are a few rules and variables that alter the course of the game: system2-2The first rule is set in place to ensure a lack of repeats in the numbers received. It could be easy for two people to just continually swap numbers the entire game and it defeats the purpose of the system. The second rule is important because it encourages people to stray from intention and just act. There are countless of variables that could be added to each game. The example variables are the basics and decided upon at the beginning of the game. Screen Shot 2017-04-09 at 6.51.46 PMThere are also several goals one can work towards to make the game more interesting. Not all the goals listed are necessarily fair, but they’re interesting nonetheless. This system is simple, but can gain complexity depending on what rules and variables are set in place. The players are constantly moving and changing numbers, free of restraint. The end results are based on the randomness within the game. Decisions are made based on each player, but not every player makes decisions the same way. For instance, a person could simply be looking to swap with the person closest to them, while another could be drifting towards the farthest person. Though there are decisions in place before the game starts, for instance: at what speed is the group moving, each player interprets those decisions differently. What is defined as fast? Slow? This system was inspired by a game I used to play when I was younger where a group of people would walk around shaking hands. Before the game starts, a “murderer” is established (by an outside party), but nobody knows except for the murderer themselves. The murderer would shake hands with someone and “kill” them by scratching the inside of the other person’s hand with a finger. That person would then die, but only after shaking one other person’s hand. That way, the players see that person “die” but are unsure as to who killed them. It was a silly game, but it gave me the idea of the scrambling group encounters. IMG_9110 I was still a bit unsure of the exact definition of a system, but I knew this game could fall under that category in that it is restricted, active, and follows the “simple rules lead to complex phenomena” characteristic. After playing in class, other ideas were brought up that could make the system self-evolving such as “each player establishes their own rule they follow themselves, but nobody else knows” kind of thing. Or “swap numbers and if the number you receive is even, continue in that direction, and if it’s odd, change directions.” That way the system can keep building and changing itself, leading to even more interesting results.    

Blackspace: Point Cloud

blackspacepost2The idea of working in complete darkness was exciting, but I had a hard time coming up with a system that would successfully translate to that situation. When I began working with the Kinect for my conference project, I realized I could use the Kinect for Blackspace. The thought never occurred to me before, but once I discovered that the Kinect works with an infrared camera and calculates depth it became the perfect project. pointcloud2I had only just begun figuring out the Kinect and at the time the possibilities seemed endless. However, I was very limited when I began due to the fact that 1. I was working with the Kinect version 1 which holds less capabilities than the second and 2. I had no idea how the “language” for the Kinect libraries worked. Daniel Shiffman’s Open Kinect for Processing libraries helped a great deal and provided complete examples for various Kinect projects such as Point Tracking and Depth Testing. It was all very overwhelming, but with time I began to understand how each of the examples functioned. BlackspacePointCloudGif The one example that stood out to me was the Point Cloud example. A point cloud is basically a large amount of points that resemble the depth of a person or object in a 3D space. Shiffman’s Point Cloud was white on a black background and rotated, giving various perspectives of whatever the camera was seeing. It seemed like the most interesting and interactive, so I decided to alter his Point Cloud for my Blackspace presentation. Working with the Kinect required an understanding of the machine itself as well as the logic of depth and distance. The new vocabulary and functions provided a great challenge for me. I had to study and interpret someone else’s code rather than one I’ve written myself. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to create my own codes with the Kinect, but not for Blackspace. The end result is a non-rotating point cloud on a black background. The points are pink when a person is closer to the Kinect, and blue if they are further away. It is a simple idea, but one that I thought would be fun and interactive for the whole class. The reason I decided to use two colors to represent the depth is because it felt more gratifying that way. People want to see results and changes, so the change from pink to blue is a fun one to watch. I also added various keyPressed() options that altered things such as changing the stroke of each point in the sketch, changing the point density (how concentrated or spread out the points are), and the tilt of the camera. I felt the project was received well and was fun for everyone. It was fun to see how everyone’s individual movements helped create and alter the sketch. blackspacepost3 I believe my project is a system due to the fact that it follows the “simple rules lead to complex phenomena” aspect of a system. The rules are simple: draw points wherever there is an object and if that object is close, make it pink, and if it is further, make it blue. However, the entirety of the system itself is complex in that there are many things to be taken into account such as object/person position, camera position, location, and movement speed. It is not self-evolving I don’t think because it does not evolve over time on its own, we cause the changes and they are reflected back to us instantly. I suppose in order to make it self-evolving there would have to be change within the code itself over time that cannot be controlled, simply followed.  

Systems Aesthetics: System 2 Scanner Drawing

For this project, I intended to make a process-based series of images with abstract and figurative elements using a simple, turn-based method. My materials were minimal, just a piece of photo-paper, a pen, a hi-lighter, and a scanner. I began by drawing a simple square in pen on the photo-paper, accenting it with some hi-lighter ink. I scanned this sheet into the scanner in four parts, thusly some of the scanner’s interior was imaged along with the paper. I put the images into one photoshop document as four layers. I then re-arranged the layers into a sort of overlapping collage pattern. When I was satisfied with the arrangement, I used Photoshop’s auto-blend, which attempts to make a coherent image out of all the layers selected. As I had disorganized the layers, this was impossible for the program, and so it resulted in an abstract, glitchy rendering with emergent transparencies, unexpected colors, and strange, warped shapes. The program also produces or adds new layers as it sees fit, resulting in more or less puzzle-pieces for me to arrange. I continued “taking turns” with the auto-blend algorithm, re-arranging and blending, until the image looked completely unrecognizable, totally unlike its source. Some early versions are below, and a later version is above. The goal of the program algorithm, all the while, was to make a “coherent image,” and mine, all the while, was to make a figurative image. I wanted to make something that appeared like a human body. Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.43.28 PM Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.43.09 PM Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.42.52 PM Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.43.36 PM Ultimately neither of us quite succeeded in our goal, but the result was interesting nonetheless. The process, the game I was playing with the machine, actually made me see in a different way. I began to see the inkling of figures at some moments (visible in the examples below), but I also saw landscapes emerging. The process became immersive, and each step seemed to open up onto a landscape in a new world that I could explore endlessly, turn-by-turn. It was kind of crazy, but this was my experience. The image at the top of the post, in particular, marked a turning point. This rectangular space at its center looked uncannily like a landscape to my tired, immersed self, and only after that image did I end up producing the images below, which appear to me like scenes in some kind of fantastic tale—sci-fi cityscapes and mischievous characters popping up before my eyes. I hope to continue playing with this sort of “drawing” process, and a fantasy of mine has been to actually write a narrative to go along with some of these images, to produce a sort of graphic novel. Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.53.24 PM Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.53.31 PM Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 6.53.44 PM

Systems Aesthetics: An Early System

IMG_9315 As our readings have progressed as has the class’ understanding of systems, and what attributes they need in order to be classified as a ‘System’. My first system had the characteristics of an extremely simple system however was missing extra attributes to fall into what the class classifies a system now. My first system was a system based on colours and paper, created after we watched Ron Resch’s paper and stick film. Using different coloured dyes I dipped different types of paper into these in which many different colour patters would occur .IMG_8462 copy Presenting this system in class I understood that my system was static and needed to go a step further in order to become a fully functioning system. After creating this system and understanding the reaction from the class, I decided to create another analogue system for system 2 in which I would be similarly playing with the ideas of chance. The idea of chance was fundamental to many Dada artists in which they created many (what we would call now) systems based on the logics of chance. After speaking about Marcel Duchamp and other revolutionary Dadaist’s in class and experimenting with creating an analogue system from the things that we found in our pockets, I decided to take this idea further. Jean-Arp.-Collage-with-Squares-279x395 Based on the chance paintings of Jean Arp, in which he aimed to remove the hand of the artist, he would let square pieces of paper fall onto a larger piece and then stick these on, image above. I decided to replicate this system with items from peoples pockets. After these items would be dropped onto the paper I would then, or the person who dropped them, trace around the objects, creating interesting shapes on the paper, all based on the laws of chance. As the system evolved it became interesting to analyse the shapes they made once the things that had been dropped were removed. There were two different aspects of chance in play with this system as the first was how the objects dropped onto the paper and the second being I did not know when walking into a space who was going to be there, so therefore unaware of who was going to be participating in the system. I enjoyed working with this system and also the aesthetics of what was left on the paper after the objects were removed, however this system could not function without my input or another persons, we were the instigators and it couldn’t continue without continuous  human intervention. IMG_9317   IMG_9312 Therefore my system was not self-evolving, a characteristic of systems which I have been struggling putting into action throughout the course of the semester. I understand this aspect however how to put this into action has been difficult so that is something I really need to focus on to achieve in both System 3 and my conference project. I think looking at the artist Hans Haacke will really help in order to achieve this as I think I will be sticking to analogue systems. The simplicity yet power of his systems and artworks is something I would really like to replicate whether that means playing with water or wind and also playing with the ideas of chance as I did with Systems 1 and 2. IMG_9314     IMG_9316

Blackspace : The Night Sky

17760607_10211930084185620_1623211113_n   17760510_10211930083945614_719956823_n Gazing at the stars is an extremely personal and natural experience that many encounter, when we were children the lullaby, twinkle twinkle little star was sung to us. It represents a simplicity and purity, the removal of outside influences, in which one abandons all thoughts and becomes fully encompassed by this magic. Deciding to code something so natural and pure strips it of these qualities that make it so attractive in the first place, becoming a commentary on how technology is now taking over humanities ability to access the rawness of nature and in life. Through the self evolving nature of this system, the originally star looking dots spread into one another and enlarge, morphing into floating bubbles, what we perceived earlier has been abandoned, forcing us to question what we are seeing and what it is evolving and its significane. Through the constant growth, development and expansion of technology today, the authenticity of the natural is minimized and instead we are replacing these experiences with the artificial, this is epitomized in my blackspace instillation. Also by projecting it on the roof, we are forced to lay and look up, a move that we also must do outdoors when gazing at the stars and the moon, however by projecting these on the roof of Heimbold that is largely pipes, the sterile atmosphere of the building is emphasized in what is supposedly the most ‘creative’ space on campus. Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.30.31 pmScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.30.39 pm Overall, I am quite pleased with how my Blackspace installation went. I found it very interesting watching others and how each person in the class interpreted the assignment very differently from one another. This was my first time coding something for this class alone and although it was challenging at times, I persevered and stuck with it. I had to be very patient as I often found that when I thought I had the hang of it, issues in processing would occur, and therefore I was unable to run the code. I think if I were to change and alter my code I would do more to make it change over time and I would also like to use perhaps more than one projector so it takes up more space on the roof, effecting its overall impact. I think if I were to make take this simple code and then project in on all walls and surfaces of the room, roof, walls and floor, it would be extremely powerful, overwhelming and encompassing. The audience reacted well to the instillation, however I think the most effective part of it was the beginning in which it looks closer to the night sky therefore I would keep this in mind if I were to make further adjustments. I think these changes would cause the project to fall more directly into the category of a ‘system’ as it would make greater changes over time and would become self – evolving (more than it already is). 17793175_10211930084065617_2065118028_n     17793348_10211930084385625_1233842294_n