Monday, April 4, 2016

Oporto apresenta #40

Complementary Cubes by Manfred Mohr 
16 mm computer generated film b/w, 5'12'', 1973-74

Who would imagine the string figures of the "cat's cradle" game to be the first steps of a lost and highly complex universal language. Across the globe different people, such as the Makushis from Guyana, the Yoruba from Nigeria, the Torres Strait islanders or the Navajo Indians from Southwest United States, used a loop of string stretched between digits as a mnemonic device for storytelling. String games could tell elaborate stories following complex algorithms that only few had the extensive knowledge to read and to calculate new variations. With the fall of oral tradition, string games disappeared loosing its function and meaning. Nowadays the game is studied by ethno-mathematicians as an example of a fundamental mathematical language that once reached a global level, what was perhaps a predecessor of today's digital language. "Complementary Cubes" programmed by Manfred Mohr in the early Seventies, is a prime example of a computer generated art. The piece can be described as Mohr's mathematical syllabus, the foundation of a digital universal language that the artist has been unveiling and expanding until today. In the film two geometric linear figures rotate in a code driven complimentary dance. As the animation evolves the two separate drawings are perceived as being complementary parts of a single stereoscopic figure.

"A square dance for a  stereo cube"
Alexandre Estrela

Friday  April  8, 10.30 pm
Oporto new entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon

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