Dmitry lopashov

Computer and visual arts

30 Nov 2020 Article
Diversity and multidimensionality of culturological research, the main methods of which are historical, systemic and axiological. To analyze the works of Computer Art, the approaches and provisions developed in cultural studies, art history, philosophy of technology, as well as computer science were used.

"Painting and graphics," as B. Wipper remarked, "create their images on a plane in two dimensions, but they strive to place them in space, that is, in three dimensions." The specificity of the process of entering, storing and processing graphic information, both in the traditional and in the innovative version, is determined by the level of technical equipment. The chaotic arrangement of dots on paper or on a computer display does not carry any information and has no aesthetic value, but when an element of structure (figures, shape, size) is introduced into the image, the image becomes deterministic and acquires a certain aesthetic value. The basic laws of image realism - the laws of perspective and chiaroscuro - are the process of a long evolution of drawing and painting. Alberti ("On Painting") and Leonardo da Vinci ("Treatise on Painting") wrote about perspective as a science of the laws of depicting a three-dimensional world on a plane, as well as an image made in accordance with the provisions of this science. According to Leonardo, "perspective is nothing more than a view from a window, on a completely transparent glass of which objects outside the window are depicted." Hardware and software support the optimal creation and storage of graphic information. Creative processes, one of which, as M. Klinger writes, is “slate art”, and the other is “paper sheet art”, at the preparatory stage (sketch, sketch, drawing) acquire the functions of popularizers of fine arts (painting, graphic design, photography ). For example, Gioconda in the well-known computer interpretation has rather applied rather than artistic value. However, such a non-classical interpretation reveals a connection between traditional form and image methods and modern modeling tools. Graphic drawing created with the help of symbols - ASCII-art (text graphics), appeared long before the advent of the computer; its prototype was the printed version of one of the chapters of the book "Alice in Wonderland" by L. Carroll, published in 1865 in the form of a silhouette of a mouse tail. In 1869 (this year is the beginning of ASCII-art), an earlier printed reproduction of the Gioconda was made using a conventional typewriter, consisting of more than 25,000 characters. It is not known for certain when ASCII-art was first integrated into the computer environment, but the ASCII standard, a traditional American keyboard, was developed at the Institute of American National Standards already in the 60s, so presumably ASCII-art existed already in the days of MS DOS. As you can see, starting from the era of printing machines and ending with the appearance of the first computers capable of displaying a graphic image on the screen, a number of technological stages go through the development of computer graphics.


The main advantage of displays is the ability to obtain tonal and color images by highlighting light spots lying inside a continuous area, pixels - the main elements of graphic images. “For a computer, as well as for an artist who paints a picture by applying brush strokes, the main trick is to put the right paints in the right places” (D. Prozis). In the fifties and sixties, computer systems had very modest capabilities, while a competition held in 1963 by Computer & Automation magazine, which laid the foundations of vector and three-dimensional graphics and raster imaging, became the starting point for Computer Art. It was there that F. Nike and G. Nees (Germany), A. M. Knoll, K. Knowlton, and B. Julesch (USA) presented their works. With the involvement of an increasing number of professional artists in working with computers, computer graphics began to develop both technically and artistically. Already in 1967 in Tokyo, when the "Computer Technique Group" was created, a concept was developed that reduced the artist's task mainly to the development of a programming system capable of predicting and generating a certain set of forms, and not creating finished works. Their achievement, the Automatic Painting Machine, was manually controlled by punched tape from a digital computer and light and color input from its associated “event zone”. Having developed an algorithm for the sequence of actions, and having calculated the coordinates of the functional transformations of graphic commands, the programmers combined their sequences into modules. However, the execution of inscriptions and drawings was still a very laborious process; therefore, a computer drawing program in the 70s could look like this:

“5 CLS 7 SCREEN 8 COLOR 1, 2 10 PI = 3. 14159 20 LINE (3,1) - (317-K 199),, B ... "etc.

Experiments with the computer as a new tool for creativity gained great relevance in the 80s, when a number of artists began to create works of two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics on the basis of a new generation of computers. Among them are Jack Ugerman and David Em, who, as a result of their experiments, replaced the traditional methods of creating composition with the method of topographic drawing. Harold Coem, based on developments in the field of perspective projection, was engaged in writing and developing programs that allow a computer to draw and correct images without human intervention. Like A. Turing, Cohen viewed the computer as a thinking machine, endowed with the ability to manage a number of intellectual tasks. But unlike his colleagues - Dominik Borehem, Holger Baskstrom, and Bo Lingberg, who since 1965 have applied the method of random composition to develop the skills of independent drawing in machines, Cohen focused on a given program. While selecting some of the drawings (equally unique) from Aaron's own program, Cohen slightly tweaked them in watercolor. To some extent, the computer itself was already a co-author of the artist and could enter into an interactive dialogue with him. Meanwhile, if human thinking is characterized by imagery, ambiguity, approximation, then an algorithm entered into a computer requires concreteness, accuracy, and rigid logic. Is it because, in order to achieve creative tasks, contemporary artists often lack those characteristics that are inherent exclusively to machines. “Firstly,” says computer graphics artist Vera Molnar, “the computer provides enormous opportunities for working with a wide variety of color combinations and shapes. Secondly, it allows you to generate and combine these shapes in a random order and in any quantity, which can be used to achieve a special artistic effect. Thirdly, the computer provides the ability to create a library of images, a kind of visual database. And fourthly, the computer allows you to record the reaction of the viewer in order to use the feedback data in the further creative process. " One way or another, by the end of the 20th century, “the artistic image changed its status, ceasing to be frozen, once and for all determined, as, for example, in traditional painting. In computer art, it is dynamic, reveals the process of its own genesis, exists for a limited time and quickly disappears ”(M. Terakopyan).

The complex of methods and ideas aimed at creating color, rhythm and composition in computer graphics can be classified according to the methods with which computer artists embody their creative ideas. For Lillian Gish, the computer is just a tool for processing photographic images. Reproductions of paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, filmed and processed by her with the help of graphic editors, as well as collages created on their basis are the subject of her work. In 1986, L. Gish's technique was used to research one of the most famous mysteries in art history - the Mona Lisa's smile. According to the artist, an inverted scaled portrait of Leonardo, combined with a reproduction of the La Gioconda, is a mirror image of the same face. One of the pioneers of digital painting working on Wacom Intuos tablets is the Japanese artist Yutaka Kagaya. For his works and achievements in the field of computer painting, he was awarded the first place in the “Digital Art Contest in the USA”. The main theme of his works, executed in the style of exquisite romantic fantasy, is the abyss of the starry sky. The sky is everywhere here: in the mirror reflection of the waters, and in the distant depths of the galaxy, and in the flickering of the northern lights, and in the changing seasons. The depth of Kagaya's paintings is complemented by poetic commentary by the author, reminiscent of Japanese hokku poetry. Art Nouveau computer graphics artist Tom de Witt promotes the intangible essence of art as such, since all his works are abstract and solved in the tradition of Dade. The "immateriality" of de Witt's computer creativity is the essence of abstract algorithms and databases. The graphic works of Herve Hutrik and Monica Nahas are also early examples of 3D computer images.Profiles of human faces were used by the artists as initial models of the work “Masks” (1990). Since 1970, while working on the first joint project, Khutrik and Nahas had only a small computer and a simple printer, and later moved on to technical equipment that allowed them to “sculpt” a computer picture like a sculpture. As you can see, the Western world has gone far ahead in the direction of computer drawing. However, this fact does not prevent Russian artists from mastering new and powerful programs for creating computer graphics, and receiving, along with their foreign colleagues in electronic pen, the prestigious Avard awards. The easel is a computer tablet for the Russian painter Yevgeny Gomonov, whose professional career has been going on for more than twenty years. He works in different styles and directions - both traditional (watercolor, oil, airbrush) and computer. “As an artist,” he writes, “I am interested in creating everything: from simple one-color emblems and advertising labels to full-color illustrations that require many hours of work. As a true artist, I am attracted to any art form - illustrations, graphics, and non-commercial works. " "Gulchatay", "Imitation of Boucher", "Lion" were made by the artist on a Wacom tablet in the graphic editor Painter using the Clone function and a variety of brushes. The most active period of activity of the Russian artist Oleg Karasev began with the participation in the projects of the Multimedia group of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University. According to him, work on a computer was initially associated with office tasks: “… during the first significant upgrade, I was not guided by the use of graphics packages. <…> I will not deny that I imagined the process of creating pictures using a computer a little differently. However, concrete examples have convinced that 3DS in the right hands is a very promising tool. " The work “Liberation” for modeling which Karasev used the MetaReyes plugin was made according to the sketch by Burne Hogarth in order to study the approaches of various schools of painting to the depiction of the human figure. In the composition "Face of War", based on a sketch by Leonardo (the original is kept in the British Museum), the artist used Studio MAX and MetaReyes software. Another direction of Oleg Karasev's work is devoted to the modeling of sculptural objects. Among them are a model of the famous fountain group “Samson” (Peterhof) with the same name, awarded the 3D Award, as well as graphic sculptures of famous monuments of St. Petersburg and its suburbs. The most notable is the work of the computer graphics artist Olga Nagurina, whose works - "The Queen of Dreams" and "The Insight of the Lyceum" open another page in the history of surrealism in painting.

More than forty years of artistic and aesthetic experiments with computers in different countries confirm the conclusions that mastering new tools makes it possible to eventually embody - albeit in a different way, with the help of a different language - the same obviously “subjective image of the objective world” 33. One of the rapidly developing areas - fractal geometry, appeared about thirty years ago. Fractals (from the English “fraction” - fraction), often called self-similar sets, repeat the appearance and shape of an object up to similarity near any point. The term was introduced by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975, and the classical pattern of a fractal was constructed by him on the basis of the developments of Poincaré, Julia, Cantor, and Hausdorff. There are a variety of methods for creating fractal images on a computer. At one time, the professors of mathematics at the Georgia Institute of Technology developed the method of the System of Integrable Functions, which is widely used today, in abbreviated SIF, with which you can create realistic images of natural objects by repeatedly transforming, moving, resizing and rotating parts of the images. According to the American scientist Jeff Prosis, even the Earth can be considered as a classic example of a fractal object. “From space, it looks like a ball. If we approach it, we find oceans, continents, coasts and mountain ranges. Let's look at the mountains closer - even smaller details will become visible: a piece of land on the surface of the mountain is as complex and uneven as the mountain itself in its scale. "

A notable breakthrough in the development of 3D computer images in the second half of the 80s was a series of video works in the genre of “electronic animation” by Mikael Gaumnitz entitled “Sketches, portraits and friendly cartoons”. According to Gaumnitz, he "tried to combine the world of traditional painting with new visual technologies: the artistic image eventually acquired dynamics, becoming mobile and changeable." In addition, a new characteristic appears in the series of these pictures - time, which is also characteristic of the genre of cinema. Investigations of such optical effects later allowed the experimentalist in the field of animation Jean-Pierre Ivaral to switch to encoding and displaying complex artistic images on the screen. His series of computer graphics entitled “Synthesized Mona Lisa” (1989) includes twelve etudes, in which Leonardo's masterpiece is recreated after crushing into its constituent elements. The visual effects arising from this approach clearly show that there is no longer an insurmountable border between figurative and abstract art. The latest developments of German scientists Walker Bletz and Thomas Wetter show how it is not difficult to create a three-dimensional model of any person using relatively simple controls based on a single photograph. At the same time, the selection of facial features occurs automatically, based on databases, in the arsenal of which there are more than two hundred different combinations of the transformer. The exact copy of Mona Lisa, thus, in a matter of seconds turns into a three-dimensional, smiling and winking, in a word, the revived Mona Lisa, which is undoubtedly a breakthrough in the field of computer modeling.

New horizons for the use of computer technology in the visual arts were discovered by Edmond Couchow. His project Scattering In All Directions (1990), co-authored with Michel Bret and Marie-Helene Tramus, pioneered the creation of games and animated guardians or screensavers. As the decoration of PC workspaces, their story began with simple white dots on a black monitor background, gradually becoming one of the priority areas of Computer Art. Thus, the use of information technology in the field of fine arts served as the basis for the execution and editing of graphic images in multimedia systems, which in turn contributed to the birth of new styles and directions of computer creativity.


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