[NetBehaviour] Kandinsky3

Jim Andrews jim at vispo.com
Tue Feb 16 04:18:04 CET 2010

http://vispo.com/dbcinema/kandinsky3 -- images
http://vispo.com/dbcinema/kandinsky3/intro -- essay

This series of 90 images is the first use of the dbCinema Flash brush. In
the desktop version of dbCinema, you can import any Flash SWF and use it as
a brush. The SWF is used as a mask for (in this case) the Kandinsky images.
Each frame of the movie, the current frame of the SWF is converted to a
grayscale image and used as a mask through which we see the Kandinsky
images. Since the Flash brushes are themselves animations, the brush changes
shape over time, whereas the Vector and Voctor brushes don't change shape
over time, although they can rotate and change opacity over time.

The Flash brush introduces further possibilities concerning the forms
dbCinema can create. Part of the idea of the whole project is to combine
generative abstract art with a representational aspect via the ability to
use the Google image search images or local images. Even if dbCinema is not
using images as paint, but color as paint, the results should be
interesting. It shouldn't be relying on the concept images as on a crutch
for bad work, but should be using the concept images in original ways within
a context of form that is dbCinema's, not the concept images'.

The text in Kandinsky3 is from Kandinsky's 1919 book Concerning the
Spiritual in Art. He developed a kind of spiritual geometrical philosophy of

Kandinsky's philosophy of art is resonant today for algorithmic artists.
Because he looks at basic shapes and their "spiritual values". Like
triangles, circles, lines, and so forth. And of course his art highlights
his concern with basic shapes and with colours.

Algorithmic artists have frequent occassion to deal with basic shapes
because those are the shapes visual computer art is made out of also. Moreso
than in drawing, say. When we draw, we can easily draw a thingie that is of
no basic shape other than squiggly thingies. But the fundamental shapes you
deal with as a programmer artist do not really include thingies. They are
things like lines, rectangles, ovals, points, polygons, and Bezier
equations. It takes some work to get to the thingie stage.

Additionally, Kandinsky was very involved in a kind of synthesis of arts, as
are algorithmic artists, typically. He took his cue from music, and wrote
about this. If you look at his work, you see that although it is abstract,
there's something going on with ideas of harmony and composition. It's a
kind of musical approach to colour and form. He was interested in how
different shapes and colours make us feel, and drew on musical analogies
rather a lot.

Given that sound and visuals etc are all commonly coded in zeroes and ones
and that programming can react visually to sound or react sonically to
visuals, the relatedness of music and visuals is, in computer art, being
explored quite a lot. Kandinsky is sort of the patron saint of those
explorations just as Mondrian is the patron saint of rectilinear computer


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