Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Hard Edge, Soft Edge (Two pieces in the shape of a pear)

There is a world of difference between hard and soft, but in one sense, a mathematical sense, they are only a short step apart. They are as close as the difference between a sine wave and a square wave.

Three pieces in the shape of a pear
from Peter Henderson @ Systems Art on Vimeo.

In this recent piece, the only difference between the soft and hard components of the visuals, is the use of a sine wave to create the softness and a square wave to create the hardness.

The video has three elements (although like Satie's Three Pieces, there are actually seven parts) which are respectively soft then hard then soft.

The three components are

  1. Soft geometric waves
  2. Hard geometric waves
  3. Soft natural shapes transitioning to soft geometric waves
The intervals between the three components are identical soft geometric shapes.

The audio is also a combination of hard and soft noise, all played to the same pattern. This is a percussion pattern with intervals 4, 1, 3 ,2 ,2 ,3 ,1 ,4 where the timbres are chosen from natural sounds of clicks and roars, hard and soft respectively.

The same pattern that generates the audio also generates the visuals, where the transitions follow the same interval sequence (by and large). This creates the illusion of symmetry, like that obtained in contemporary dance.