This week I got some great creative inspiration for my RGBD work from my DANM advisor Kimberly Jannarone. I presented the work and my website to my project group class, and talked about my progress with the project so far. I noted to Kimberly that I have been approaching this project very differently from those previous in that the technology was really guiding my direction thus far, and that I was unsure of how to tie the work more directly to my larger artistic and conceptual interests despite the fact that I felt there was a sort of theoretical link present already. After some discussion, she made the art historical connection between the work and that of the Italian Futurists of the early 20th century, and I immediately connected with this assertion as I’ve always enjoyed the work of the Futurists and saw a direct relationship between the themes present in the work and my own. Kimberly and I both immediately referred to the Balla painting Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash for the depiction of dynamic movement. Another work that always stood out to me is Boccioni’s sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space.
Both works for me exemplify the futurist theme of capturing in a singular image the representation of range of movement across a period of time and space. These artists were interested in reconceiving of how movement and bodily experience could be represented, and ultimately were challenging notions of perception and the limitations of our visual and mental capacity for interpreting dynamic movement in a world that exists far beyond our perceived three dimensions.
We also talked about as inspiration the work of late 19th c. photographers Eadward Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey. Both of them studied movement of human and animal subjects through elaborate multi-camera systems, and the results are remarkable and beautiful photo composites. I also learned about Italian photographer/cinematographer Anton Bragaglia, who was working at the same time with slow-speed imagery to dramatic effect.
Was it also notable about these artists for me is the fact that their work was dependent upon the technology present at the time, in fact the technology acted as a catalyst for the work’s production, and in turn established its distinct style. I’m inspired by those artists working in the early 20th c., at the advent of a new technological era much like we are today, who were using and responding to contemporary technology and scientific discoveries to represent human perception in a new a different way.
So armed with all these considerations I was excited to start creating still composites of the frames from my video captures. It had been suggested to me in critique to use After Effects to composite the stills exported from the Visualizer system into an animated sequence, but first I wanted to see what I could do with stills (and spend some time learning more about After Effects!).
So my first step was compositing sequences of images into a single still in Photoshop. I found ways to automate this process using Bridge, and eventually produced a series of stills from different video clips I captured the week before last. The results are really compelling and I am just seeing how these visuals can take on a whole life of there own as still images. Below are examples of stills, including a series from one video where I have saved the image at different stages of the sequence. I did this by saving a still every 50 frames, and for every other still, I included the frame that was 50 frames in advance as a sort of clue as to what would appear next. It makes for a nice effect and has really opened up my considerations in terms of what kinds of processes I could apply to presenting this visual content.