Dimensions 2016, 5min 40sec

Synopsis:

A mathematical play on one repeated movement that imparts a sense of possibilities: that something simple can produce complex and unexpected patterns. As with an atom, the variety of possibilities from a base movement is potentially infinite.

More details:

At the core of Dimensions is the looped movement of one giant X made of 720 images. This basic loop was created one frame at a time to introduce slight imprecision in movement and fluctuations in the shading. Barring brief flirtations with dots that describe the same path of movement, the entire project consists of nothing more than a manipulation and repetition of that one X sequence. I catalogued increasingly complex formulas for creating layered variations and the project became an exercise in extreme compositing. When I thought I had exhausted possibilities, new formulas would come to mind. Ultimately only a subset of the variations would be used.

While experimenting I was surprised at some of the results. When two layers are offset in time, a sense of deep space appears. When nothing but the intersection of two layers is shown ordinarily straight lines appear to undulate. The normally looping trajectory would at times appear to be restricted to a horizontal axis, at other times circle around. When multiple layers move quickly they describe a solid but when sped up even more they appear erratic. Shapes and movement appear to change but are all formed from the same looping X.

The variations had me reflect on the infinite complexity that can be created from a simple base unit and question what we are able to see. The final edit is meant to impart a sense of possibilities: That a base element can produce patterns that are too complex to fully see or easily comprehend. That the core on which all patterns are based is always present even when not obvious.

The music by Nicolas Bernier straddles two technological worlds with its analog instrumentation (strings and tuning forks) and electronic manipulation. In this way it is the perfect aural fit to the image which also inhabits two worlds (analogue/flat and digital /apparent 3D). At its climax the music suggests deep layers created from overlaid simple patterns - an order to apparent chaos - that is also shown visually.

Screened:

  • May 2017 - IVAHM, New Media Arts Festival, Madrid, Spain
  • May 2017 - Universe in a Glass, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Canada
  • Oct. 2016 - Punto y Raya Festival: Abstract Art in Motion , ZKM Karlesruhe, Germany
  • May 2016 - Spaces Digital Art Exhibition , Richmond VA, USA

Credits:

  • Direction & animaton - Sandra Eber
  • Music - Nicolas Bernier: strings.lines, line(b)
  • Sound re-recording - Tristan Capacchione