#37
Joost Rekveld, 2009, 31'12''

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Since the early 1990s, Joost Rekveld has worked on a series of experimental films and installations that explore, in an abstract and medium-specific way, the technological culture and history of film and new media, light and sound. For these works Rekveld often developed his own tools and methods for image generation, using algorithms to control mechanical and optical processes. More recently, his interests have moved to complexity, self-organisation and artificial life – areas of research in which simulations and visualisations of patterns play a key role.

Rekvelds film '#37' begins with a greyish, pixelated plane, resembling a surface covered with a thin layer of grains or sand. A high, chirping tone is heard and at the same time the grains begin to for
regular, wavy patterns – do these shapes emerge from the particles’ exposure to sound waves, as if in a scientific experiment? Next, the camera appears to zoom in. Larger patterns emerge, with blobby and polygonal particles, curvy and straight lines, a cellular structure with an emerging geometry. '#37' unfolds as a sequence of abstract scenes and evolving crystalline structures that appear as if lit from behind. These structures seem to live in two, three or more dimensions and contain complex, multi-layered tiled motifs. In a few cases a circle appears in the centre of the screen, in which the individual elements, particles and rings move and ripple – like a very complex kaleidoscope. These sections play a delicate game with the limits of our perception of movement. The soundtrack by Yannis Kyriakides subtly reflects the slow changes in the underlying regularities.

Joost Rekveld began research for '#37' in 2000; the film is inspired by his long-term interest in morphogenesis. Rekveld has looked at various areas of research where complex patterns and geometry play a role: visualising sound via vibrating particles, Moorish tiling patterns, and early methods that were used to visualize the inner structure of crystals (the three-dimensional layout of molecules in a crystal was first made visible with x-rays, which produced very interesting visualisations with complex symmetries). The main influence on the film, however, is the recent field of quasicristallography; in the 1980s a completely new class of structures was discovered with an intriguing kind of local asymmetry. With '#37', Rekveld has produced a film with purely digital origins – he wrote software that generates self-organizing visual patterns that are visualized by the interferences they produce in a wave pattern. The resulting images are combined in a film that immerses the viewer in a mesmerizing, abstract, imaginary microscopic universe.

'#37' is available in high definition only.
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  • Date: 2009
  • Length: 31'12''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA
  • Genre: (experimental) film (artwork genre), abstraction, computer animation, medium-specific, poetry
  • Keywords: image, interaction sound/image, light, nature, representation, science, computer graphics