Closley related to Texture is the idea of Patterning. This  can be seen as a form of abstraction and is often associated negatively with   “purely decorative “ art, folk  art and so on. Patterning pre-dates western art by  centuries  – has links with rituals,functional art and the strengths and rhythms of repetition.[1]

Inspired by Indigenous Australian Aboriginal Art  Len Lye  made  Tusalava in 1929,his only hand drawn cel animation. Tusalava’s abstract form of narrative shares similarities with films made by European artists in the early 1900’s  such as Hans RIchter ,Walter Ruttman and Oscar Fischinger yet Lye’s visual forms and patterns  of movement show their  more organic,biological inspiration .

    “Lye was also much influenced by doodling, which he thought connected to a ‘pre-conscious’ sense of physicality bypassing rationality. Tusalava can be seen as a film about movement in and of itself, rather than symbolising other processes. Lye was attempting to create a magical sense of life on film that would physically absorb the viewer.

Unfortunately, because many British critics at the time were trying to find literal meanings in films, it tended to confuse the majority of viewers who saw it at a Film Society screening and it was not widely shown. Lye subsequently struggled to find financing for his films until the mid-1930s, when his experiments with painting directly onto film began to transform his status.”   Jamie Sexton  read the full article and link to excerpt here

or see Tusalava with contemporary soundtrack by Alessandro Di Paola

A Musical analogy of visual texture is perhaps timbre and orchestration of different instrument parts but is also heavily influenced by tonal and even microtonal qualities. Vella even equates texture with complete environments ,  for him relevent to music composition but his comments are of equal interest and relevance to the time based art of animation and the following description of texture as an environment could be usefully applied to visual and narrative composition; ” An environment is defined by an aggregate of objects,conditions and influences.  …  An environment is a system in which forces and factors are set against each other.”  (Vella,200)

[1] Patterning In Contemporary Art , Layers of Meaning

curated by Merry Gates   Canberra School of Art  and Asialink Centre University of Melbourne  1997

website: http://www.anu.edu.au/ITA/AUsArts

call  709.94074 Pat

Musical Environments, RIchard Vella , Currency Press NSW 200


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