Art & Aesthetics Art Blog
This visual abstraction seems electromagnetic: a bristling force field all centrifugal and kinetic and laughing at gravity too, but is it some galactic spiral like a cosmic pinwheel in 3K soup or is this nebular nooky the nucleus of some organic germ cell or a runny egg? Is it a nautilus or just water down the drain?
A faint octogram scrawled on the surface dissolves in the flux as swervy vectors radiate to a backbeat rhythm. One can almost hear the harmonic overtones that are clearly seen. It has a musical timbre; a shimmering tremolo in sweet syrup that usurps the suck and gurgle of chaos. The signal-to-noise ratio translates to a figure-ground visual aspect as this membrane mambos with a black hole in an eerie plasmatic light while unlikely reflections of deep space propagate towards the edge of the universe. Is it a color weather radar map of a sun storm?
No. Actually, it's a screenshot of the random patterns generated by my Microsoft Media Viewer (visualization setting: Alchemy) captured from my computer monitor and frozen in time at the push of a button while I was listening to a wave file of some splendid new music. Stay tuned.
To think that I used to screw up the picture on my old black and white TV by messing with the vertical hold and fiddling with the knobs on the back of the set " the ones labeled "Qualified Technicians Only" - just for the visual effects. Ha! Nowadays the glorified kaleidoscopes we call computers can turn an audio event into an objet d™art at the flick of a wrist. Of course, an algorithm that creates "art" isn__™t exactly Abstract Expressionism but that__™s not the issue here.
The connection between this push-button abstraction and music is tenuous though; any sound or noise would have sufficed. The disturbances on this raster are triggered mainly by the wave amplitude of low frequencies like from a bass guitar or a kick drum. That is to say it__™s rhythmic, but not owing to melody or harmony. I see no color correspondence between the visual and audio spectrums: slow red light for the bass notes and fast blue light for treble, let alone the tints and shades of higher and lower octaves. It's not exactly Walt Disney__™s film "Fantasia" - he really did a number on The Sorcerer__™s Apprentice with that 'toon - but these desktop graphics do manage to convey the click and sizzle of a jazzy ride cymbal pretty well, what with the raindrops-on-oil effects and all.
Of course, there was a time when, transfixed by colored light, I might get lost in the luminous amorphous globules and become one with the fluid free-forms in a lava lamp. Then again, I was probably "baked" on brownies, if you know what I__™m saying. But psychedelic interludes with Betty Crocker aside, one thing is for sure; the synthesesia found in today's animated computer graphics, beyond the flying toasters, might have blown my mind for good back then.
Still, the marriage of art and pure music is necessarily abstract: an intimate connection between the eye and ear, a sound-stage of color and form in space-time, not just the coincidental sights and sounds of music videos. It__™s oscilloscopic, like the stringy knots of warbling light in my head when I hear myself giving artistic credit to the programmers of those random pattern generators. So put that in your "what is art?" pipe and smoke it.
Meanwhile, if you have a media player with visualizations, check out the recording of my new musical composition on which I played real instruments - guitars, bass, and drums " seemingly all at once. It's not too trippy, just pop-rock with a twangy flavor. Even if you don™t have any visual effects on your 'puter, just close your eyes and listen anyways. It's a tune I call STRING THEORY. (Click on title; turn it up.)