Interactive Dynamic Abstraction (2000)


The history of abstract animation and light performance points towards an aesthetic of temporal abstraction which digital computer graphics can ideally explore. Computer graphics leapt forward to embrace three-dimensional texture mapped imagery, but stepped over the broad aesthetic terrain of two-dimensional interactive dynamic abstraction. Several experiments in using pure human movement as the interface to dynamic abstract systems are presented with the goal of creating phenomenological interfaces that engage the unconscious mind directly. These applications are visual instruments that allow immediate understanding of a dynamic system, but point towards infinite challenges in their mastery as any good artistic medium. The lessons from these experiments can be applied to computer animation, human-computer interface and the aesthetics of time-varying light.


Interactive Dynamic Abstraction. Snibbe, S. and Levin, G. Proceedings of the Symposium on Nonphotorealistic Animation and Rendering, June 2000


Golan Levin provided many hours of fruitful discussion and aesthetic collaboration while working on the dynamic line pieces with me in 1997 at Interval Research. Adobe Systems and Silicon Graphics supported the Motion Phone while I worked at Adobe as a member of the After Effects team from 1994 through 1996. Andy van Dam and many members of the Brown University Computer Graphics Group helped me become educated in the language of computer graphics while an undergraduate and graduate student. Larry Cuba, Elfriede Fischinger and Bill Moritz critiqued my work and broadened my knowledge of abstract light performance and animation history. Bill Verplank was a constant mentor, source of inspiration and dedicated user of these tools. Perry Hoberman introduced me to the world of interactive art installations, where I learned from watching people use these tools. Itsuo Sakane, Machiko Kusahara and Michael Naimark, colleagues from the world of interactive art, supported me and pushed me to refine and add sophistication to earlier experiments.