The Same Only Smaller
I was reading one of Olivia's posts, The Interview. She wrote about how she was copmaring an abstractionist scene and a sclaed down version of it during her Christie's interview. I said that she didn't need to compare them. The small one is the same only smaller. Wrong.
Things are not at all the same when they are sclaed bigger or smaller, this has inspires some interesting thoughts in art and science.
On the program, fractals/pointilliste painting/pointilliste music...with plenty of pictures
One of the first people to note this was Galelio. In a typically renaissance kind of argument, he proved that if a dog were 8 times bigger it wouldn't support its own weight. It couldn't exist.
You're hoping I am not going to speak about this, I am not.
Let's think the same way about figures (paintings) and then music...
What is a figure that remains the same when it is scaled up or down?
Such figures are known as fractals. They were discovered by Benoît Mandelbrojt, a french-polish mathematician working for IBM. His work was not at all appreciated in France at first, but IBM loved the cool computer graphics it made.
Fractals are all over nature. They can be seen in trees, animals, clouds, coast-lines... They are also common in urban life, for instance in the way cities grow with no planning....
Here is a fractal
Fractal Animal Shell
As we scale down a painting we will get to a size where it is impossible to paint. The painting can't be smaller than the tip of a brush. A French neo-impressionist painter named Georges Seurat came up with the idea of paintings made up os small points.
In fact these paintings are much closer to the way the eye works:
When our eyes take in a scene they can see only one color at a given point. A point can be red/green/blue. Other colors are not created by micing these three colors at a given point -like in painting- but by having diffenret combinations of the three basic colors at nearby points.
orange is red and yellow and yellow is - maybe I am wrong- green and red. So to paint something orange you use two red points for every green point in a small region.
Here are some examples of Seurat's works
Sunday Afternoon On The Island of La Grande Jatte
Detail from La Parade
And another painting not by him
Much less known than pointilliste painting is pointilliste music. It was invented by a Viennese composer Anton Webern and he thought in the same way of making up his compositions from small units that are different but that when juxtaposed will sound right. In fact he was looking for a systematic way to creat music. Using his ideas a computer can -I think- compose music.... this is one of my dearest projects.
Webern's work couldn't be known during his lifetime because the nazi government in austria condemned it and he had to stop composing. But he is really famous among musicians and even has a fancy website. I will probably make a special post explaining his music.