Language of Flowers
The language of flowers can be understood by people from all cultures and histories, for this project I made a generative artwork of geometric 2D shapes that would be cast onto a surface through projection mapping.
produced by: Jana Velinova
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein
Concept and background research
I was inspired by the many artists that use flowers in their work. Shakespeare used flowers to convey emotions, Ophelia wearing flowers as symbols of her deep sadness and grief. The lotus in Asian Art is widely known to symbolize birth and rebirth with petals that open and close with the rising and setting of the sun. The thistle, the national flower of Scotland, a thorny but beautiful flower, signifies both evil and protection. As a flower which incessantly follows the sun, sunflowers have become symbols of infatuation and foolish passion. During the Gothic and early Renaissance eras in a time of restricted literacy symbolic imagery was important to communicate beyond language barriers. Having seen "The Garden of Earthly Delights' in person while dancing in Spain last year this painting also made a significant impression on me specifically its flowers. More recent work by Andy Warhol, O'Keefe, Klimt and Scarlet Raven also inspired me here.
Thinking about the final projection of the generative art piece and my inspirations, I knew color would be a very important part of what I chose to make. Since blue is a theme in some of my previous artistic works, I wanted to extend on that and use a pallete that was retro, echoing Warhol and started with a Kline blue building on with juxtaposing colors. I finally used a bright 'atlantique blue' and 'a wolf very dark blue', and a 'moonlight dark violet' and 'bright violet d'hier.'
I used openFrameworks with the piMapper addon. Methods I employed where if-statements, for loops, custom Classes, Sin wave and custom functions and more. Having had no prior programming or coding experience before this module I have mainly overcome my fears of coding solo without a team to ask questions from. I started out feeling worried about the allotted time and my level of coding technique confidence was not very high but I slowly decided to focus more on the process than the final product.
Projecting onto a person in a performance setting using a blackout curtain behind the performer I can project an area restricted to where the 'on' space is and the performer can move within that restriction catching the projection on their body as they do so. I would also like to research further options on using projection mapping in performance to learn new practical techniques of achieving this.
I had a clear and strong artistic concept/idea and development as well as good execution for the most part, but the final projection needs some further development. For example, I realized later there are ways of keeping everything neater in my code building on good coding habits for the future.
I did not ultimately get to project my work and as a curator myself, in the future it is useful to see and learn that switching people at the last minute to a new group after they have been working with team members to create a shape as well as choose a location and sort out code, as what happened in my case, is not efficient since in the end, some artists will not have the chance to present their work.
I used a dark background behind the geometric flower shapes in reference to Andy Warhol's flower paintings but having seen some other projects projected since then, in hindsight might choose a lighter background which I think would work better in this format.
In the future I would like to develop this project further by cleaning up some of my code and finding an opportunity to project my work onto an actual surface rather than only seeing it on a screen but I really appreciate the full experience of making this project overall.
Breathing Cloth class example: Theo Papatheodorus, Workshops in Creative Coding 1 (2017)
Moving Rect Source example: Theo Papatheodorus, Workshops in Creative Coding 1 (2017)
Simple Sine class example: Theo Papatheodorus, Workshops in Creative Coding 1 (2017)
Rain Drops class example: Theo Papatheodorus, Workshops in Creative Coding 1 (2017)
Flowers as Art History's Messengers of Meaning, Ana Tzarev, Huffington Post:
The Garden of Earthly Delights: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights
The Importance of Flower Paintings, Betty Ann Brown, ArtWeek LA (2015):
Retro Party Wolves Color Pallete: http://www.colourlovers.com/palette/4026193/Retro_Party_Wolves