Moshe Ladanga

Posts Tagged ‘digital art

Finally, a website

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The last few weeks I’ve been collating my work and organizing it, figuring out the best way to show my work. I do a lot of different things, and I remembered the graphical interface of Puredata, which is the inspiration for the Main page.

Have a look:


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August 11, 2008 at 11:22 PM

Expressive Code

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By another strange stroke of luck, we came across this book in LCC around a month ago. It was big, new and BLUE. Processing, a programming environment built upon Java, was developed by the students of John Maeda, the author of Design by Numbers. Casey Reas and Ben Fry, the authors of the big blue book, set out to write a guide for people like me to learn programming; and more than that, they specifically had visually inclined artists in mind when they wrote the book. It is a revelation.

Casey Reas- Image Derived from MicroImage Software

I am completely blown away. There are quite a number of artists (check out Katrin’s blog) who have been creating moving image pieces- films- with pure programming. Heck, here are my favorites:

Flight404’s Solar on Vimeo

Filght404’s Weird Fishes: Arpeggi on Vimeo

Casey Reas’ Process 16

Whitekross’ 2-Redrum

Processing takes the power of the mathematics, or rather, the descriptive ability of functions and algorithms to make images. Some artists are exploring interactivity via data fed in by video, sound, user input, and others, like Ben Fry, use it to visualize data itself. And the results are evocative.

Ben Fry’s All Streets

There are other artists who use Processing to make these incredible moving paintings.

Jared Tarbell’s Intersection Agregate

Jared Tarbell’s Sand Traveller

And also, there is this guy, he is a god in my book- W.Blut- he makes interactive sculptures. Time to put on those knee pads!

rose at lagrange 2

W. Blut’s rose at lagrange 2

I’ve been teaching myself the programming code by reading the book, doing the exercises, and by mainly fooling around with the basic sketches in the libraries. Processing comes with quite a few video capture programs that we’ll be able to use for our project. We’re currently thinking of using the video feeds as the triggers for the interaction between the screens and the viewers themselves.

I wanted to sketch out visually my ideas for the image interference in my screen, so I made a simple revision of a live drawing program in Nodebox (Python language, simpler than Processing). So the program works with the mouse being dragged across the screen to make marks; the resulting paths are traced and interpolated by random functions defined by the values derived from the position of the mouse (x, y). Keep in mind that these are pulsating lines. Here are snapshots:

*Please click on the images

The great thing is that the mouse coordinates can be assigned to brightness spots, motion fields or even color in the VideoCapture programs in Processing. We can definitely play with this thing. More to come…

RA Cezannes and Sol Le Witt

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I’ve been wanting to see this; some of the paintings in the show were cherished favorites held until then only in books. The portraits and landscapes of Cezanne were simply astonishing. Instead of receding into realistic perspective, the planes of arms, of face, chest, rock, tree, mountain and shadow pushed forward, sculpted out of layers of pigment. Each one was different, each one belied a particular mood, a state of mind. One landscape in particular (the jpeg here is pretty bad, photographed under low light- better see the original) was complicated, the planes of autumnal foliage and mountain all in varied angles- it took a while to see the whole picture. But if you stay long enough, you’ll understand what I’m saying.

Landscape at Aix (Mount Sainte-Victoire). 1905. Oil on canvas. 1879-82.

Carrière Bibemus. c. 1895. Oil on canvas. Museum Folkwang, Essen.

Bibemus: Le Rocher Rouge. c. 1897. Oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris.

These ones I found at, a generic site, but with a pretty good selection. The ones are paintings of a particular quarry (Bibemus). If you look at the pictures, it becomes very evident how Cezanne used the medium of paint to bring out a material quality to the act of perception; he made the act of looking active, the picture fragments into forms and brought together by the eye. Yet, as you continue looking, it becomes clear that it is not merely a technique applied to a picture; the picture is immersive, the planes, the tonal cues, all start to come together and bring you to a particular state of mind, a feeling, which becomes more real than the hum and chatter of people around you, and you actually forget you are merely looking.

There is also a portrait there of a woman sitting, in blue (again, the jpeg doesn’t do it justice), and the strokes that make up her body, especially how her posture and weight are depicted, are angled towards the bottom left of the frame. It’s not that evident here, but standing in front of it makes you aware of the weight of her body, the weight of her thoughts.

Paul Cézanne. Lady in Blue. c. 1899. Oil on canvas.

Seeing these made me realize how much other artists have discovered and experimented with how we perceive, and how they have fundamentally turned it on its head; In Cezanne, the way we see becomes tangible as a cognitive act, as a malleable form of making sense of the world. There is an exquisite subtlety and a the profound moment that you experience when you get to that point where the painting holds you still in its language.

Which bring me to So Le Witt.

I’ve seen this last year, room no.5, at the Tate Modern. I once saw an epilogue of him (he died last year) in the web, NY Times. Never really thought much of him, and at that time I lumped all the conceptualists and the minimalists together, didn’t really care about installations that only awakened the mind. But when I first experienced this room with Katrin, I was floored. It was beautiful. The recreation of space, the tension between the lines and their fragility (done with chalk I think), made me feel awake, cleansed, pure. And the simple attenuation, the clarity of it, just brings you into another state of awareness.

There is this thing that some artists share, and it is a push towards an engagement that releases the viewer from preconception. With Cezanne, the picture brings the act of perception into relief, and offers an alternative way of seeing things, of conceiving things. With Sol le Witt, the lines create and at the same time re-invent how we think of things, subverting logic to express the intimations of the invisible, of the divine.

MADA 02 Assessment Presentation

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Moshe Ladanga
MA Digital Arts
Camberwell College of Arts
University of the Arts London
March 19, 2008
*please click on the drawings

(Video Documentation of Experiments)
Interim Report
Test Site Shows

Of Phenomena and Art: The Nature of Collaboration

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We had the pleasure of having a tutorial session with Dr. Barbara Rauch, the acting director of Sciria. Just at the onset, it felt like it was going to be great, I mean if I could transcribe everything she said, I will. She confirmed a lot of our ideas and encouraged us with our investigation of perception and consciousness.

The first thing she said was that consciousness was a unique phenomena, because unlike other events studied by science, we can never observe it because we are at the center of it. But maybe through Art, we could express its intimations, its dimensions (if it even subscribes to measurement). It got me thinking about the research we have done on collaboration, and, with all the different artists, at times it seemed impossible to prove that collaboration was really happening. But the experience we have of working together on this project bears so much proof of the collaborative dynamic. We exchange words, we finish each other thoughts before one speaks it, we work towards the same idea but manifest it in different ways. The best instance I can cite is when we came up with the idea of the twin video loops, we were talking so fast that we got confused who said what and what was the idea again and what-the-fuck! (or maybe it was the continuous cups of coffee and never-ending swirls of nicotine clouds, haha)

For me, collaboration is also a phenomenon, especially between artists, because the currency of collaboration is ideas. As thoughts are spoken, eureka moments erupt, then the concepts you have running in your head changes immediately, imperceptibly. I try to imagine the process as a wheel, where once it is affected, it is altered permanently; it turns and we can only see (with our consciousness) what we think the idea is (that’s a strange loop right there).


Turning form 01

digital drawing

Moshe Ladanga


This idea led me to thinking what the Theory of Relativity means; not that I’m going to do mathematical equations here, but the implications of Eisenstein’s insight, and how relevant and actually accurate Relativity describes this phenomena of thinking, of awareness. There is even a beauty in this, in where whatever attempts are made to study something, it must be made with a knowing that one pair of eyes and a brain is just that; as much as we want to believe we can sum up the world into a definitive system of forms, our idea of it will always be informed by how far or near we are to the thing we are trying describe.

This relativity also brings into relief the fallibility of our minds, but it does not mean it is a weakness; I think it is part of what it means to be alive, to be awake, to be curious. Things that we seek to discover will reveal themselves in the multiplicity of perspectives, and at the core of it that is what collaboration is all about.

Video Feedback: Projections

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When we reviewed the experiments that utilized the 2 imacs in the studio, we realized that what was limiting the interactive experience of the piece was the size of the monitors. It was important for us to actually visualize the reflection of a more or less whole “Body”- by which I mean a reflected image that viewers can identify as their own.

We borrowed projectors and set up in the studio, waiting for the MA seminar room to be free. The effect of the projection is different, as you can see in the video below:

The weird thing though is that it looks better in the video than actually being there. In a darkened space, the interaction with the reflection is very limited; the eye is in a constant state of adjustment, and the saturation that is seen on the video documentation is less visible in the actual space.

It also felt like I was trying to induce a reaction with the shadow on the wall rather than being confronted with a self-reflection. The projected image just looked like pale imitations, and the image patterns that you see on the video was not that clear in the space.

But the thing that caught my eye was the repeating wave of light. In the part where the camera is centered on the projection, an interesting thing happens. The silver box (the electric outlet) near the bottom of the screen cast a ‘video shadow’ on the feed, causing a looping wave of light. In the space, it looked like an anomalous signal, and the frame of the screen disappears. Your eyes, because of the darkness, focus on the rhythmic pulse, and it hypnotizes you.

We still have to review this, and even though the projection setup can be beautiful, what we want for the work is the intimacy and the immediacy of seeing an image of yourself. Technical issues aside, what I learned from this setup is the pivotal role of the space; it does alter the experience of the work fundamentally.

Written by mosheladanga

March 14, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Video Feedback: Part 01

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This first test was taken with a handheld cam, but recorded on the Imac. The slight shifts of movement by my hand reveals the fluid geometry and delay of the feedback loop. The loop creates a strange virtual space, where the repetition of the frames suggest a corridor, but when our image intrudes, we are reminded of its illusion. This gets more clear in the second experiment below:

The effect on how we perceive is different when we are in front of a mirror, inspecting an image of ourselves. The effect is more like seeing your shadow, an objectification of the self-image. But watching the replications makes you aware of your body, as you try to match your movement (or more specifically, your awareness) of your image to the reflections on the screen.

The video below is different; found it in on youtube and it shows the video feedback that is native to TV. The cathode ray tube has different parameters, and if you observe the details of the image, these become apparent. The rate of delay, the timing of the transformation of colors is endemic to the technology of the tube- the millisecond firings of light to create a picture.

For our project, our focus is on the nature of self-conception through the image. Perhaps the flat screen offers a less complicated, and hopefully more direct way of revealing the dimensions of the experiential work.