Monday, 15 May 2017

More on sequences

Working on a mapping between music and visual art, based on the recognotion of shared sequences. More here soon

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Systems - Reverse Conceptual Art

So much to say, so little time ... watch this space

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Sequences - Composition of Vespers


The systematic basis of many of the things that I make, or indeed that I analyse, comes down to determining sequences (of numbers, usually).

When I analyse another artist's work, I will normally be satisfied when I have worked out a sequence on which that work is based, as you may see if you look at some of my earlier posts. See for example my description of Mary Martin's Inversions.

Where do sequences arise in things that I make? Video is a good example. When making a video, one takes clips and arranges them in sequence. Audio too. Clips are arranged in sequences. In this short video (Vespers) there are three visual clips arranged in sequence and four audio clips.

Looking into the clips, we see that the internal structure is also arranged by sequences. The black marks and the white blocks in the video are a sequence. That sequence is matched by the sequence of tones in the audio. For example the piano tones are related in pitch, duration and attack to the four painted black marks. The clicking is proportional to the white blocks.

These sequences have a simple mathematical formulation.

There is another audio sequence, which I have left in even though it is not in synch at the moment. You can hear a swish made by the blinds that cause the shadows. That swish has been set to a slow but regular beat, rather than to the actual movement of the curtains. At the moment it neither matches the visual movement nor the beat of the audio track. I want it to be there, but I am not happy with it at the moment. I'll probably fiddle with that a bit more.

The point is that, as I designed this work, my notes comprised sequences of numbers representing components such as the duration of what you see or hear, or the relative positioning of marks and objects in the image. These sequences are (mostly) carefully adjusted so that a degree of synchronisation and balance is achieved.

This is a work in progress.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Composition of Pots


Pots from Peter Henderson @ Systems Art on Vimeo.

Less geometrc than my usual fayre, this short video is another experiment in synchronisation of video and audio.

The soundtrack is rather geometric, being a version of Alvin Lucier's Vespers performed by me using two stones as my "clicker" and my bathroom as the acoustic space. I should probably have used a cathedral.

The video, as well as being direct camera-shot sequences and stills, has some abstract elements created by using The Cube [see earlier posts] to transform the video sequences by "shuffling" the pixels so as to retain the actual colours and overall "speed".

The original video was shot at Hauser and Wirth during the Subodh Gupta exhibition last year.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Composition of Perpetual


Perpetual 2 from Peter Henderson @ Systems Art on Vimeo.

This is a revised version of a longer video that has been available on Vimeo for a year now. As well as tidying up some details, I have added a soundtrack of basoon and percussion.

The images and the audio are loosely synchronised, in that they have been matched for speed and major events by using the same mathematical sequences in their composition.

The interesting aspect of the video, in my opinion, is the way in which the layers have been combined. In fact, there are three separately constructed layers used, all being monochrome videos. One layer is used as a mask through which the other two layers are combined. That is, one layer is the ground, the other is stencilled through the (moving) mask [a travelling matte] onto the ground. The fact that all three layers are geometric creates the overall geometric effect. The reason the video is called "perpetual" is that, in principle it could have been any duration without repetition, including performances that would not repeat for years.