Athletes of the Heart: session 1

To introduce this field project we began by going though the brief, discussing both the limitations and freedoms we have for our practical work.

We are going to be creating an abstract animation in response to an extract of a musical composition provided by Dan Soley; a student at RWCMD. The composition it titled ‘Socialite’

We were able to discuss the composition with the composer himself. I made a note of some of the key things he said:

img_8183From what he said, it is clear that Dan had a playful, experimental approach to his composition, relishing the mechanical qualities produced using the software. He also spoke about the harsh quality of the sounds, partly as a result of his choice to use hard stereo to push the particular aspects of the music fully left or right, rather than floating somewhere in the middle. I would like to play with the idea of reflecting the harshness of the audio with the visual animation.

We then made practical responses to the music. I used wool, rhythmically tying it in knots in time with the composition.


Here is the composer’s practical response below:

It was very interesting to see the composer visually respond to his own work, and the vastly different approach he had in comparison to my own.


Keynote: ‘Abstract Animation and Multidimensional Montage’ – Dr. Barnaby Dicker

The abstract animation = the process in which we initially create our content

Multidimensional Montage = how we choose to edit together our content

Kandinsky wrote about the concept to abstraction. He mentioned that there are two extremes, ‘total abstraction’ on one end of the scale, and ‘total realism’ on the other. In-between there are different harmonies, taking instruction from both extremes.

Guillaume Apollinaire, a French poet, said while writing about Au Fic cubism that ‘realism is based on geometry – in order to establish norms’.


Leopold Survage ‘Coloured Rhythm’

inventingsurvagepanelmaxresdefaultMoMA youtube – 1913 | “Colored Rhythm: Study for the Film” by Léopold Survage

Survage created a series of drawings, which he had the idea to turn into an abstract film, in the hopes for making a painting movie. However, due to WW1 the film was never made.

Walter Ruttmann ‘Lichtspiel Opus I ‘(1921)

Walter Ruttmann – Lichtspiel: Opus I (1921) from Avant-Garde Cinema on Vimeo.

This was the first abstract film to be publicly screened.

I am excited to be creating my own abstract response to Dan composition. It is going to be a challenge to fit my images to the fast pace of the music, but should be fun.


Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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