Solo exhibition curated by Arnd Schöter, Friday 10 September – Wednesday 10 November 2004, Charax – Offices, Brussels, Belgium
Several Flash animations were presented online during a presentation of new digital artwork on paper.
In the beginning it was simply about the creation of a logo. Drawing is making choices. Sometimes you choose fully aware, but most of the time also very unconscious. So I made my choice (two people performing a ‘hands-up’ scene) but also was very curious to know what the other possibilities were.
It seemed to be an almost impossible task. For each very simple line or colour, there are always too many possible variations. It is fascinating how a human brain driven by reason or instinct makes its way through that infinite field of possibilities. The computer can help to make this field visible. A drawing computer program can do repetitive drawing tasks very fast and precise. In other programs you can even skip those tasks and replace them with some lines of code. The machine will draw every variation you want in just a few seconds. With all possibilities visible and available on screen, the human brain is forced to think again while it continues to create even more new possibilities. This endless challenge is something that could not happen in the same intense way with traditional media.
I took the few basic forms of my logo to create millions of combinations. A small set of rules make the combinations of square forms look like little human beings. The 8 types of limbs, their rotation, their position to the body and their point of fixation create 624 possible limbs. Three big prints give a printed overview of all possibilities with each a different colour. (arms, legs, left, right in three positions)
The dynamic creation of the human being (in Actionscript 1.0) is shown in the media room. A few lines of code are enough to make all the possible humanlike creatures randomly visible on screen. An online animation (peopleGenerator) gives the opportunity to the online visitors to stop the random creation and make consciously one human being. The result, like the three smaller prints shown here in the office, can be printed. An other animation (twoPeople.swf) takes things further. Here the online visitor can manipulate two people, rotate and ‘click’ them together in different positions. In the meeting room some printed stills from online animations are shown (peopleDrawPeople and peopleTable). A black ball sets seven little human beings in motion. They bump into each other and hit a rectangle or one static figure in the middle of the screen. The little human being is pushed across screen and is leaving rotated traces of its former states and positions. It also is adopting the colour of one of the limbs of the colliding other figures.
A computer is an outstanding tool to show the endlessness of the rational capabilities of a human brain. The overwhelming rational awareness of what is possible, here made visible by the use of a computer, brings to the broad daylight the wonderful complexity of what seems to be a simple emotional or instinctive choice.
(Hans Verhaegen 2004)
Rue de Namur