Krzysztof Mazur

STUDENT MULTIMEDIA     BWA 25-31.04.1994 Cracov

Programme 1993/94
  The problem that interests me now is the formal side of abstract actions. It seeks new and clear means of expression through the direct effect of shape. My intention is to avoid the state in which the very fact of being would be contaminated by any content. I approve of the content only as a secondary effect of resonance and all kind of reverberation which remains purely abstract. In principle I am looking for possibilities of affecting the senses which determine our being in the space, affect our aesthetic emotions in a direct way without thinking (not only by means of representation but also as sound ll and touch taken together. I want my escape from the nature does not direct itself into some abstract content but rather into abstract feeling. I am looking for a kind of technology which would enable the complicated and vivid plurality of inner associations to be involved in reality through myself and to materialize. At the same time it would build a physically unified whole in a multimedia context through dynamic process in the space such as movement, sound and picture. However, these elements must not be separate. I want to draw attention to a certain fact, which, when properly understood, becomes an element of art history. Take e.g. the development of painting from the perspective of photography or the slow liberation of cinema from theatre tradition. We remember how miserable were the films when made from the position of the theatre public, how funny was the gesticulation before the language of silence was discovered, how much confusion was brought by the introduction of sound and panorama picture. It took some time before sensational tricks wore out and cinema became art. Every time new technical means must live on their predecessor before being able to develop what is specific or before human sensibility allows it. I am optimistic about the future of computers in this respect. Even now they are able to imitate a symphony orchestra, make copies of paintings and sculptures and animate pictures. It is only copying, soulless as they say. We are frightened and confused but it is rather the lack of imagination. One paints a few kitschy lines and chooses windows in Rubens, Giotto, Picasso, Warhol, Lascaux or Motherwell's style. Spielberg's dinosaurs look quite well in this context (It seems that the possibility of abstract motion pictures Karol Irzykowski spoke about at the beginning of the century and which has not been realized in cinema has appeared only now). To understand the meaning of such a box and its action one statement and a bit of imagination are enough. What is specific about the fact is the digital binary system, the mere statement that something exists or does not exist. It makes possible to introduce almost everything into the memory and its reproduction through the simplest possible 01 code. Third possibility also exists - creation at a very source of abstraction. The computer is a pure abstraction, its action is abstract and its product can be abstract by its very nature. What is most interesting is that we address the tool as if it were a human begin "This" or "He". The paintbrush or camera have not been described in this way and we have not described painting or sculpture as inhuman. Is it truth or illusion? I think that only now the constant monologue of our images has been able to find a tool which is intelligent enough to be followed. The perspective of abstract space and even of alternative universes seems very attractive although it goes beyond conscious perception of the moment. Uniting our intelligence with the competition with itself and our thoughts with presentiments of spaces of thought beyond time. Enchanted composition of senses and feelings thought of as contained in "foreseeable" chance and infinity. It is the most intimate contact with a tool. The dialogue between man and his product, where we are the real element (perhaps only our body). The soul desire is to be almost free and the question about the place of art is asked. My honest desire is to participate in this search. Perhaps the nature is infinite but the very fact of being (something is or is not) is the abstract infinity and how rich it is! I must confess that the longer the civilization exists, the more expensive and complicated the tools of creation are becoming. However, they open artistic possibilities, also when used in forms not quite adapted to artistic activities. Even now I am able to discern many interesting compositions in mathematic ideas such as fractals, diagrams, biorhythms, diagrams of rates of birth in ants' populations and the average temperatures of an elephant's trunk in 2003. My intention is to make such activities free from film animation or video techniques. However, at the beginning one should take something as basic and the experience of these kind of media will be useful to me. From all the possibilities offered by computers I chose mathematical forms which became very popular, so called fractals. They are probably the first complex and infinite shapes created not by nature but with purely abstract means. It is amazing that they have not been created in the same way as other mathematical creations but they have existed forever. They were simply discovered as something that builds the essence of this world; not the essence perceived but rather the product of deep knowledge. Parts of the mystery were discovered in past centuries but they became known only in the 20. century as form, shape and color. It was possible thanks to the most perfect of human creations - the computer. The question is whether the fractals are the nature discovered or, as a human creation, the independent abstract nature in the computer. They are certainly not an interpretation of the nature. We set some initial conditions and the machine creates infinite worlds of shapes, whose form are unpredictable and the strength of images surprises us. We tend to seek the shapes of mountains, clouds, sky, galaxies or stars but no one of them exists in reality. The World and its variants - the laws of nature are the alternative version of natural shapes. It is the first successful attempt to understand the apparent chaos which is around us. The implication is: Nature - artificial machine created by Man - laws of Nature translated to the language of the machine (human participation) - unique variants of initial conditions, expressed mathematically as the infinity of unique but self-similar forms (no human participation) - abstract, that is non existing in reality proper to the computer as a medium, pure form (no human participation) - new abstract nature as an inspiration for visual artistic interpretation (human participation), the computer as the most "natural" tool of artistic creation - creation of new formal values with computer as a medium (human artistic creation). As a result the new forms can be artificially adapted, by changing the direction, to the nature which surrounds us, using old formal means, known from other media (the most common procedure) or there is a possibility of an attempt at new semantics which preserves the formal purity of computer as a medium. The second possibility is more interesting to me - it seems logical and we may expect interesting results from it. But there is another possibility which makes the fractals useful in artistic creation as new means of expression. In itself they are a kind of original notation and they might be interpreted in two dimensions, in three-dimensional illusion and in three dimensions of picture and sound - the unified comprehensiveness without reference to other media (but taking advantage of their achievements at the same time) is the most important characteristics of the computer. Fractals exert fascination on humanity being the way of learning how God created the universe as a consequence of the will to create our own world. They are not artificial any more. We are getting used to their ubiquitous presence in publicity. They have been made popular and accepted and the contact between an artist working with them and wider public is made possible. Another assumption I would like to realize is putting the computer images of fractals in the real space context. It is for me the most important visual artistic objective. At this stage I have an idea of an installation, which I would like to develop. The installation should underline the visual and abstract character of fractal images with a strong addition of sound and active human participation. The visual element will be made of fractal animation projected on a screen. The screens will be built from paintings made with the help of fractals. My inspiration were much more profound impressions resulting from light on a textural surface in relation to perfect plane. The sound image will consist of multi-channel sounds with the lowest frequencies enhanced. I will use, among other, low organ sounds reproduced on a specially constructed acoustic device. The sound reproduced in this way cannot be determined in relation to its direction. For human ear the oscillating sound comes from all directions at the same time, creating the impression of undetermined space, which relates it to fractals. The human participation means the penetration of illusory space forcing his/her way through the screens. My objective is to attempt introduction of new medium (computer) in space with simultaneous presentation of pure abstract forms resulting from the medium's character.