Philosophy department

On: 03 January 2006

Kingston Library Display Case: January 2006

Prints from animations

January 2006

All that we perceive is blinkered by the limitations of our being: the speed of our lives and perceptions.

Because we are smaller than the earth, we perceive night and day.

Because we are larger than atoms, we believe solids to be motionless.

Because we cannot see in all wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, the day sky is blue, the night sky is dark.

We think of ourselves as integral individuals, but we are ecosystems of countless tiny symbiotic creatures, which themselves, at the cellular level, are also made of a community of smaller independently evolving forms.

The violent sea surface, averaged over a week, turns into motionless hills. As we lengthen the time considered, the hills of the sea move again, not because of the force of the wind, but because the plates of the surface of the earth are moving.

Mountains churn into each other like batter in a mixer.

Perceived experience itself is patched together from signals delayed by the speed of light and sound.

To tap into an art that extends the limits of the perception of space and time, I turned to animation, specifically, the animation of gestures to produce animated drawings and paintings. Each generated frame can be produced from a "limitless" sized canvas and blend together colored marks of moving "pens," filled shapes, and masking areas. Images also can be stretched to color the resulting marks, and so doing, be made to act as freely as the other, conventionally painted shapes.

The prints and animations presented here are all made with the aid of a program I wrote myself, and continue to write, named Vapor Paint. It dates from 1989.

The frames printed here could have been generated at any size or resolution, and with any amount of time in them. The program models the process of drawing, not objects in the "real world" that would be converted to a flat picture in a photographic way. Some of my animations have realistic motions of unreal shapes, others merely pan around a throbbing set of gestures, feeling their way around the details of the drawing.

For more information and animations, visit

Henry Lowengard, January 2006

posted at 04:41:20 on 01/03/06 2006 by jhhlnet - Category: General


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