Saturday, September 23, 2006

pattern & repetition


in 1971, peter struycken exhibited his "image and sound programme 1" as part of an exhibition of visual and sound explorations in amsterdam. struycken's piece was influenced by his interest in the meeting of patterns and chance - a perfect thing to explore with early computer generative compositions ( in this case, images made up of filling in and erasing various squares in a large grid pattern; and sound made up from a similar set of decisions and permutations of sine waves).

the catalog is not big on technical explanations, but both the sound and visual structures are based on 24 different patterns, each with a fixed number of points - 8 with 16 points and 16 with 8 points. no pictures of the installation, but nice images of scores, code etc. and a great statement from the artist. here are some fragments...

"variation in its wildest sense, that is in every conceivable field and resulting in every type of experience, is for me a necessity of existence... if chance is one extreme of the possible ways of organizing a structure and repetition is the other, there is a vast field of possibilities in between which can either be regarded as the extension of repetition towards chance, or as the restriction of chance towards repetition...if structures are to be made which are not entirely regular or not entirely random, and if a large number of variants with particular common characteristics is required, rules must be made to restrict chance or prevent repetition..."

fortunately the catalog also has a 7" flexi documenting "image and sound programme 1" with recordings of structures no. 1 - 180. i have to say i think it's an absolutely beautiful piece of minimal electronic music, and quite amazing to think that it's over 35 years old. it would be right at home on raster noton or line.

you can hear the entire 12 minute work HERE.

struycken was born in 1939, and is largely known as a designer and early proponent of computer design and artwork; including some massive light and color installations. he's also designed textiles, flooring surfaces, and even a postage stamp! some great texts related to his computer work of the 70's here

3 Comments:

Blogger bloggsy said...

already added to itunes, complete with images... very nice. i love the busy signal/ring tone and franklin with the cricketfrogs

4:35 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

indeed i had ye in mind when i added the images.

5:08 PM  
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