Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Watching contemporary art and a development of creative internet communities one may think about it as about a very complex system which is a part of other intricate systems.

The difference between natural and artificial systems is caused by two things: the first is self-organization and the second is incomprehensible nature of the first. There are structures and processes one can perceive only with intuition due to their immense complexity and diversity. There is no distinction between a structure and a process because a process is an ever-changing structure or a structure with an additional dimension. Examples of similar things are  evolution of life, human brain, Universe, any life form. These are material things which anyone can see but nobody can explain. Spiritual or non-material complexity is connected to them but is less obvious. Why do we love music or pictures or literature? Music is a sum of frequencies which can be similar to the electrical frequencies of a brain. Resonance is a simple explanation of all the passion and trembling the music arises in a man. Of course this hypothesis seems doubtful and very primitive . Let’s think of complexity itself. Maybe there is some closer connection between all the complex structures in the Universe, some fractal likeness. All these structures are the parts of a greater one– some everlasting attribute of universal continuum, like time and space.

We have mentioned the intuition earlier. It is of course the part of this ubiquitous fractal which is a function describing self-similarity. The explanation of intuition is that one can not grasp the connection between himself and the universe but one can feel it, can even see its blurred silhouette within his own mind. One can feel it because due to self-similarity it is always within everyone, this is not a talent or a  quality but just a fact like life itself. And this eternal beauty, this ever-connecting wire is the thing we search and find in the art. We do not mean that a complexity itself is beautiful but we mean that there is a special type of complexity which unites art, science and religion. That type of lucid sensation which is the same for the sudden understanding of some theory or reading of a book or listening to a beautiful music. It does not deal with feelings or attractions. It has much in common with physical laws – for example we can not say about a stone that it likes or needs to fall down on earth.

One may say that there is primitivism in art. It is not a primitive phenomenon but  is very complex indeed. The art is a system which includes an author and a consumer. Both of them are affected by society where they live (there can be significant differences between societies of an author and a consumer– that’s why some authors became well-known only after their death). Primitive art appears as a growing need for something new, as an opposition to the mainstream ideas. And this need depends on hopes, expectations and general mood of the society. The beginning of the previous century seemed to be the time of great changes and big hopes. The art answered with dadaism, futurism, surrealism and other styles. Great tempo and alienation of contemporary life have led to postmodernism– the art of weariness and decay.

There had been much talk about integrative or synthetic art which would unite different art forms. However the progress of this is not very impressive. The computer had brought to life some new styles and techniques of art. Among them there are digital art, skinning, game design and demoscene. The most important trait of this new art is a unity of strict mathematics and free art genius. Without any of these parts the work is incomplete and imperfect.  Demoscenes are a perfect sample of such a unity. By the way, with their music, videos and texts they may be considered  a step to integrative art.

Another stunning samples of this unity are visualization plugins and fractal drawings.  A boundary between art and pure mathematics is very thin and sometimes it  is just disappearing. Now it may seem doubtful whether this activity can be called art. Strict formulas are considered to be incompatible with concepts of the art.

But we have to think about visualization as  an elaborate multi-dimensional system. Traditional art includes a creator and a spectator . The system we are talking about connects not only a composer and a listener but also a plugin maker. The mood of a creator and the experience which he tries to express in his work is added to the self-expression of visualization maker. We can see an additional dimension of mood or another point of view in such type of creation.
The first point of view belongs to a composer of music, the second one to a plugin maker and the third one belongs to a spectator. The mood of a visualization plugin is affected by another music being listened at the moment of creation.

AVS is a very special type of visualization plugin because of its simplicity and great possibilities. It gives you an opportunity to create advanced graphics without any programming, to implement mathematical beauty into the graphical form directly. Moreover it gives simple interface for step-by-step effects creation.

Usual art works are not complete until they are “officially” finished by an artist. Before this point they are of no interest. Presets may be complete when they consist of one ore two effects. Completeness is not demanded by the form like in music or literature works. The artist may decide about it.

Another special feature of AVS is that the creation is not necessarily predefined. An artist  or a writer usually gets some thoughts and ideas which he tries to implement in his work. Visualization making may deal with experimenting (or playing) mostly. One tries “this” and sees what happens, then he changes something to see another effect. So on each step one can not say what he will change next and what result he wants until he sees it. And the preset itself can not be considered the only result of such a work. We can say that AVS preset is a process rather than a structure. The process of creation is a very special type of art, because the visualization artist is a creator and a spectator at the same time. He is influenced by the music and a preset itself. Making preset has much in common with a game, for example playing patience.

Contemporary literature is based on cross-references mostly. In many of well-known books there are hidden or obvious borrowings of images, characters and events from literature  historical documents. Mixes are an important part of modern club music culture. The art nowadays is a complex net of interdependent images, thoughts and moods. It is self-organizing, always developing and changing and has some traits of another natural systems. And this returns us to the idea of universal complexity because this can be considered the part of another complex systems– like humanity, biosphere, galaxy.

Another sample of self-organizing system which appeared not so long ago is an open-source society. The idea of open software which can be developed by many people working together is opposed to the “commercial” software. This idea had proved itself already.
Traditional art  can be compared with this “commercial” software. It is created by a special group of people and is sold to another part of humanity as a completed product.  The problem is that there is  no “source code” for traditional art forms. How can a writer or a musician publish his state of mind? But even here the tendency for communal work and integration is showing itself. It can be seen in above mentioned cross-references, borrowings, mixes and fast-growing internet art communities.

AVS is an instrument for creating a really open art. It allows to edit presets by other artists, to merge them into one, to borrow effects from different sources and combine them into something new. It can be called meta-art being based on music. It has some important peculiarities of our time: it is open to development, based mostly on communal creation and is cross-referenced highly.

There are more other interesting questions to discuss– like interdependence of art and Internet, like possible future of communal literature (dealing with web too), relation between mathematics and art (which can be sensed through mechanisms of great discoveries) but now there is a place only for a few thoughts of digital art and a place of visualizations in it.
The computer had brought to life some new styles and techniques of art. Among them there are digital art, skinning, game design and demoscene. The most important trait of this new art is a unity of strict mathematics and free art genius. Without any of these parts the work is incomplete and imperfect. Stunning samples of this unity are visualization plugins and fractal drawings. A boundary between art and pure mathematics is very thin and sometimes it is just disappearing.
Add a Comment:
el-vis Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2004
The art of visualizing music is not a completely new concept. It started long before MTV. One of the pioneers was Oskar Fischinger with his stunning work in the 1920s.

Most of the concepts in arts have roots far in the past. Only the media and techniques changed / evolved during time. So the digital revolution is only a revolution in techniques but not a revolution in arts and concepts.

Even interactivity is not a new thing and math played always an essential role in arts.

So from my point of view the only thing one should discuss about a work of art is the message / effect and not the media / techniques.

Ok, it's stunning to see a 3D rendered image so close to nature one could hardly tell if it is artificial or real but using this to create a sportscar, a big tit chick, another sundown etc. is nice at max but not more.

The problem with AVS and other digital media is their very high dependence on math and technique. So there is always the danger to completely focus on these. Which is allright as long as not everything is considered to be a work of art. I think I would feel much better if one could take these things first only as a kind of craft ( which is not bad at all ) and not as art. And then from time to time someone will use this craft and will add something more / unique to create a work of art. Something to influence the point of view, the emotions, the minds etc. of the audience.
lonederanger Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2004
First of all it is somewhat stunning to hear from legendary el-vis. I really appreciate your presets. Thanks for comment.

I never heard of Fischinger unfortunately. Now I'll search web for some info about him.

Is there anything new in art nowadays? I think there is. Internet have brought to life new means of communication. It is not only matter of convenience. Look at DA. It lives and grows almost like natural being: small amateur project, then some sponsors found and servers brought, more money->more visitors->more interest->new visitors-> more commercialization a.k.a. subscribing, search engine only for those who pay-> (and soon-decline an fall)->less visitors->less interest->death.

It deals with people, with community of course. But the effect of the whole system resembles lifeform really.

And about communal creativity. I see some perfect job, i comment it inspired by it. Inspiration is matter of seconds. Without Internet there would be no such thing possible.

About the thing called *message*. People usually try to find it in literature, painting and even music. Is it necessary?
I think no. For me AVS is a kind of visual music. It brings emotions, yes. And about rational, social, progressive ideas- i do not need them at all. At last when I am playing with AVS. It is a kind of game. But why can not a game be an art? It is emotional spring. About the communication between creator and audience: we think that one can say about his ideas directly. But while our brain is a sum of low-frequencies why can not one pass his state of mind by means of low-frequency visual patterns? Only because it is something new and uneasy? Or because we are afraid of direct communications of minds called telepathy?

I'm sure that some of your presets ARE art. At last for me personally.
zuku Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2004  Student
oh, I'm not that good in english, so I just readed what I could. Still, this is very good article, in forms of the context and your way to write :P I think this could open up AVS for many people.. It's not nice when people call avs 'digital comics' because of the preview shots, not knowing they are mathematic, etc. respond to music. Interesting was also the things you wrote about intuition. I think I'll recommend this article for some particular people.. So, I want to thank you for my part, and I think all avs'ers are grateful to you :)
lonederanger Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2004
Thank you very much. All I need is some support and feedback. This is the UltraStrongNuclear Fuel for my job.
I am grateful to you friend for your kind comment.
tuggummi Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2004
Well i was quite confused during the first 3 chapters or so (too many smart words for me :confused: )
But eventually when you started to talk about AVS it started to make some sense to me since i can relate to the subject ;)
Yes AVS and fractals and mathematically created ART is considered somewhat lesser than the tradiotional or digitally created images. Often i feel like it takes less skill, time & effort to write down a piece of code and add & configure effects than i.e. creating a image in photoshop. People don't consider it as ART, because they think it's too easy, just like using, again, only filters & plugins in photoshop.

It is nice to see someone write about it in a very civilized manner and i definetly tip my hat for you for this :thumbsup:
lonederanger Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2004
Very nice of you to comment on my article. What I really need and what I do not see are people who are interested in the subject. Now completely new forms of art appear. Folks create them, consume them but nobody tries to think over it , to write about it... Now I have some ideas about Internet art community (i.e. DA) as about a lifeform... Maybe when I'll have enough time...

Again, your comments are appreciated much. First you've commented on my presets then this.

Thanks, Jukka.
jay-fatboy Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2004
Very well written. Also i couldn't describe "the process" of avs that well, but that's the way i have always been thinkin about it - the process of making a preset and ending loving it is very near an orgasm :) Rarely happens tho. Must say that in the two years i was active with avs i did not touch a game so...
And the open{ness} of the avs presets... Yeah, that mostly is what remixes are. But there is more ;) It's very intreresting when two or more artist play with one preset and as they "pass the ball" they both have fun. Thus most of the really interesting presets were created.
Anyway, nice article!
lonederanger Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2004
Thanks friend for appreciation and comment.

It's nice to see that somebody is interested in the subject too. Well I am not quite acquainted with the creation as "passing the ball" but it seems to expand my comparison. I thought about AVS as about patience and you are talking about a game of several persons.

BTW, you have funny deviantID ;)
Add a Comment:

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
March 1, 2004
File Size
8.7 KB