Friday, 4 October 2013

Digital Découpage

"Many things difficult to design prove easy to perform."


Henri Matisse turned to employing Découpage as a medium for expressing his art at the later stages of his life.
Digital Découpage is a technique using Marquetry (Similar to Parquetry which is mosiac in pattern) on a virtual veneer in order to produce a "free-standing pictorial panel". Traditional Marquetry would take raw materials and shape them into designs and images. These days digital media Marquetry may be experienced in an interactive and sensory virtual form by the use of open-source platforms that allow for user-designers to create and embed widgets, blidgets, tabs and scrobbling apps to their social networking sites, homepages and Blogs. Further more, video, imagery, text, colour, and principles of animation can be embedded not just on top of the veneer but within and through-out.

Digital Découpage uses these same principles of Marquetry but with manipulated images blended, pasted, trimmed, linked, over-layed together to create a Gestalt effect. The sum of parts that make up the design as a whole.

Rather then the outcome being a Photomontage produced by Digital Image editing we are emerging all the Image editing processes to show a Synthesis Morphism (Ref: Semiotic Morphism) using the idea of using pre-existing source elements to create something new for a specific target.

There are a range thoughts processes that are applicable to creating this art:

1. Your influences and interests.

2. Your observations and inquiry.

3. Your resources and research.

4. Your time and place. (Era and generation etc)

5. Your expectations and limitations.

6. Trial and Error.

7. Enthusiasm and Practice.

Aiming for a "dynamic" (Effective) outcome will produce a result that meets all the requirements you have set for yourself and possibly for others too. In the sense of dynamics that move from symbol to symbol in sequences of events. Each piece reacts to the user/s as well as the other pieces, as well as the interface and function of the moving space.

Below I have pasted a photo of a Laptop decorated in Découpage. This has been done by a Blogger and student in Colorado ... Chaotic Utopia. We can construct these narratives from inside and outside, both at once framing particular meanings, interacting with each other as we create along.

Peter Greenaway's "Prospero's Books" pioneered digital image manipulation using Paintbox and Hi-Vision technology. This allowed Peter to Découpage the film's narrative. Quantel's Paintbox was an early version of software like Adobe "Photoshop" and Spaceward Graphics "Matisse" software.

Furthering this is the possibilities for creating Digital Video Découpage, perhaps through Popcorn.js, and an early example of this method can be seen with the Visions of Students Today. The canvas is pasted with thumbnails, videos and links, all merging through a sprouting patchwork of moving ideas and emotions. It's a decalcomania on a graphical interface using light, sound and code. One of the most interesting aspects of this video art is the collaborative and participatory writing of it, the narrative nodes can be deepened by interactivity and the narrative is in a perpetual state of continuity Fluxus.

ScreenGrab from the final frame of the Gestalt 'Visions of Students Today'.
I would be interested to see how the shape and form of this video art develops, especially using Popcorn, as there is a canvass here where the buttons of video, live feeds, links and pictures can really be blended together to create a unity of an idea with many embedded narratives within. It would be fantastic to see more of these projects with costumes and characters.

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