Chris McLay.

Designer. Pragmatic perfectionist. Really useful to have around…

Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

A working methodology…

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

When I first came up with the idea for this visual music project, the method of working I had in mind was very similar to what is outlined below. Yet, while I never completely abandoned the ideas, I lost faith in their ability to create a solid piece of work that would achieve my goals, and so began my search for other creative inputs and methods that would assist me in creative this artwork which said nothing assist me to develop this creative artwork, which tries to signify nothing.

Part of the problem of trying to signify nothing is that it is not actually possible to achieve, all you can do is aim to signify as little as possible. However, if I develop images I think go with a piece of music they will signify something to me, based on the music, and my interpretation of the music will be passed on to the audience. To avoid this I have to play a series of mind games with my self trying to adjust my thoughts and interpretations into imagery that somehow relates to and enhances the imagery without adding new meanings to the music. Confused? I was…


Pendulum Music & Fractal Images

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

There is a strong relationship between the question of what makes art, fractal images (see this post) and Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music (see this post).

Both fractal images and Pendulum Music have simple basic straight forward formula’s which define them. Both have a variable element which effects how the “art” is produced: in the case of the music the four performers will start the pendulum in different places each time the piece is played and effect the outcome; in the case of the fractal formulas a seed value for the formula effects the output of the image. Both of these values are often random, but come under some degree of control by the “artists” involved.

I’m still not sure if the outputs of these formulae are actually art, but is certainly interesting and often beautiful and contemplative. To varying degree’s most artists work to a formula or methodology of some kind — it’s the number of variables and the amount of control through a larger range of variables, and the fine control they have over those variables which is different for each artist and/or artwork.

I like the idea of a strict formula or methodology in regard to my own project — it would make working on a long and complex project somewhat simpler, but if the formula or methodology I start out with is wrong then I have no chance of producing anything good… hmmm ???

The Fractal Universe, Benoit Mandelbrot

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Mandelbrot B., The Fractal Universe , from The Origins of Creativity , ed. Pfenninger K. & Shubik V., pp. 191-212, Oxford University Press, 2001

Mandelbrot starts his article with a quick outline of his education which, for a variety of small accidents, was highly visual in nature. He goes on to explain that during his “killer” entrance exams he was unable to answer many questions involving language and symbolic manipulation, but easily solved some of the hardest questions, “which no human can find algebraically in three hours under exam conditions,” by reasoning directly from the visual and sensory images that came to mind as he was posed the questions.

He goes on to discuss the shift of mathematical language from one of shapes and illustrations to one of written languages and formulas. One French high school mathematics text argued that “the artistic and sensual character of pictures would delude the reader,” so the text contains no illustrations at all.