Monday, 18 April 2011

Phoenix Gallery Brighton: Actuate My Void.

I recently visited the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton to view an interactive sound and light installation. Three artists, Angie Atmadjaja, Theo Burt, and Peter Worth explore a combination of digital generated audio, intense projected colour and reactive lighting.

Below is some short video clips that I filmed of the exhibition.

In the first gallery space there was an installation by Angie Atmadjaja titled: Intrinsic. Upon entering this space I initially felt a little apprehensive as the room was totally pitch black and I couldn’t see anything. I carried on walking quite slow until a collection of individual floating tubular neon lights started to merge before my eyes. Gradually the tubes started to resonate and I felt as if I was inside some sort of digital musical instrument that was trying to communicate with me. At first, the sounds reminded me of a machine that had to reach a certain pitch before activation. Then once the required pitch had been reached, beautiful musical dancing life forms could come to life and communicate at their correct velocity. This was so amazing to watch. It also made me feel like I had been welcomed into a new visual digital world, combined of light, dance and sound.

The second gallery space was an installation by Theo Burt titled: Four. He used four suspended light panels and four speakers to create a combination of different colours and sounds, creating sound patterns which also seemed like a form of communication. This installation reminded me of the sci-fi film called Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where  Aliens communicate using colours, patterns and sounds. Even though this installation made me feel really happy I couldn’t help thinking if there were subliminal messages hidden somewhere, or if this could be used as a form of brain washing technique.

The third gallery space was an installation by Peter Worth titled: Material. This installation consisted of a different colour projected onto a square which slightly protruded from the wall, giving a digital relief effect. Bright colour and sound emanated from the square, which would then change to another colour and sound every so often. I tried to film this but it didn’t turn out very well as I really needed a tripod.
I felt contradictory emotions from this installation, while some colours where very calming, some of the sounds were not, and also verse versa. It left me thinking about the relationship between colour and sound and how people react. For instance would I prefer to look at my favourite colour with a slightly annoying sound or look at a colour that’s totally glary but with a sound that I like?

I thoroughly enjoyed viewing all three installations, they were all very thought provoking which left me feeling totally inspired :-)

Monday, 11 April 2011

Reflections on my studio practise so far.

After experimenting with a generative art process I noticed that this wasn’t exactly working. I really wanted to make art using this method. I found it totally fascinating to not know the outcome and have that level of autonomy in my work. Also the work of generative artists has been extremely inspirational, and I really wanted to experiment with this process too. I really enjoyed making up simple rules to follow, it was fun but upon reaching the end result of those rules I would deliberately break them by my own intervention. The question here is, why have I been making up my own rules to break? I even liked the end result of these experiments but I just felt that I needed to make changes! I just didn’t feel content to let my artwork unfold in this way. Why did I feel like this? I reverted back to the question of my project: Existence: Individualism or Mechanism? Well I think this is what happened, when rules are implemented, even if they are your own rules they become part of a system. Somehow I felt that my individuality to create something had become lost in this system, even though I created the system to begin with!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Tutorial with Jonathan on the 4/4/2011

Issues discussed/Subject: Blog and Studio Practice.

In this tutorial my main concerns were that my generative art process was not going exactly as planned! Since doing lots of experimentation I noticed that I actually prefer the approach of a part generated and part created process. I have been making up rules to start each experiment off, but then I prefer the outcome when I intervene. I’ve noticed that I’m not content with making up rules and letting the artwork unfold. This has become awkward as at present I do not have any contextual research on this approach. I’m hoping that it will still be ok to research generative artists as my main contextual research artists? I’m also hoping to find other artists that have made these choices too.

Jonathan’s suggestion and comments:

  • I honestly don't see a problem here, you have come to this position because of your practice and that is excellent practice based research. You just need to continue exploring and reflecting on what you are doing and why you feel the way you do. Reflective learning is often more personal than we first imagine. I think you will find in your contextual research other artists who have explored generative art and then developed a level of control or intervention, but even if you don't the issues are there for you to explore. Look at kinetic art for example, not just Duchamp. You will find loads of work that starts with rules but then the artist is surprised by what happens or actively allows the audience to shape the movement. This is all useful context you can try and understand what they were thinking and why they worked in the way they did. Look at the artist Ian Davenport, very different to what you are doing, he pours paint but in a very controlled way, but there is a freedom that the paint has which is 'generative'.  In my own work with PVA glue, I talk about setting rules and I now even use the word 'orchestrate' to describe my process, but the glue has a life of its own and surprises me, but I do intervene. Remember that context can be contrasting work to your own not just similar.

  • Keep exploring the generative stuff and don’t worry if you want to get involved in yours and not just let it go, that is valid as long as you talk about why and what is driving you to do this. You have started this on your blog already, maybe go back and look at some of your experiments and revisit them asking yourself deep questions about why you did it that way? This is really good stuff and thinking like this early on in the course is a good sign! Challenging yourself like this will only lead to deeper work!

  • Use lots of tags, i.e. summarise each post with 5 or 6, maybe more tags, i.e., 1 word descriptions about the content, imagine yourself trying to find the content again in 18 months time, what words would you use to find the content again? When you can't remember when you wrote it or exactly what the title was then use much smaller collection of categories, these are where you are starting to organise the data yourself, the categories don't need to be planned from the beginning they can grow as you add more but often 5 or 6 broad categories are enough.  For your artwork the words should be 'studio practice' or 'my work' something to make it clear that the content is your own not just showing us someone else’s work.

  • Overall this is great progress, well done.

  • Extremely good Blog so far.

 Phew I felt much happier after this tutorial :-)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Experiments with previous spirograph sounds and geometric patterns.

For these experiments I used the previous sounds from all the spirograph plates and combined them with a selection of patterns that were created using a basic system. The video below in this series of geometrical experiments is my favourite.  To create this I first made up a system. I followed certain rules that I carried out to start off with. This was quite basic and each pattern change was based on gradually moving the size and angle FX in Vegas.  Once I had these patterns I then randomly changed the colours and made some adjustments.  I have noticed that I’m not content to just make up rules and let the artwork unfold. I also like to intervene with the creation.  I have also done this with some of my previous spirograph experiments and these have also been my favourite too.  So my next step is to update my project proposal. At this point I’m not quite sure what to call this process, it is part generated and part created!