Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Animated art from household fluids

To my mind, this is what art would look like in a cyberpunk expanse.

But it doesn't seem to have started out that way. While it is video art, it is not digital. At least not in its conceptual form. It was brought into being in decidedly non-cyberpunk milieu: a stoneware candle dish from Ikea containing a mixed kaleidoscope of paints, dish soap, oil, and glitter. Over the course of two days, this mixture was filmed as the fluid was festinated into motion by a shaking of a table or breeze from an air piston. The results were strikingly organic.

The movement of the mixed fluid begins to resemble an organism in mitosis or other such movement. The metallics of the glitter when brought into collision with the iridescent paints and soaps, all of differing densities, produces a hypnotic, hallucinatory effect, like one is swimming through a lava lamp. I stole that simile and with good reason. It's how the artist described the intended effect.

Ruslan Khasanov is said artist. The video/animated GIF vision is titled Odyssey. While I'm sure he probably did not intend a "cyberpunk" work, the outcome conjures that response from me. Plus he has all the right inspirations for it. At Wired, Khasanov said he "thinks Timothy Leary is a genius and Carlos Castaneda turned him on to lucid dreaming." It's easy to see that in the end result that is Odyssey.

Perhaps Khasanov would be surprised at my interpretation. After all, the colors are bright and there is a lively sense of being "at play" within the pieces. Nevertheless, I cannot, for whatever reason, keep from envisioning this art being projected writ large, its writhing "organisms" moving at the whim of chaotic systems upon massive videoscreens in the Sprawl-like setting of William Gibson. No, probably weirder than that. More like the cyberpunk of Rudy Rucker.

I can just see it. These "lava lamp life forms," projected on the sides of city buildings, gray populace watching them move and tumble. Taking form, breaking apart, amassing once more, then yearning to break free from the video and join us as intellectual equals.

Either that or it's just pretty to look at.

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