Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Top multimedia piece - Perseus

Photo/painting courtesy of the 1st-art-gallery.

I stood there mesmerized for ten minutes, just studying the piece.

It is without question one of the most captivating art pieces you'll see at the National Gallery in room 32.

It is Perseus fighting Phineus and his companions by Luca Giordano- October 18, 1634 - January 12 1705. This picture above is a remarkable reproduction courtesy of the 1st-art-gallery who reproduce handmade oil paintings.

Our history consists of defining images, endless unique ones that capture an essence. Director Ridley Scott says the lone image of a gladiator about to slay his enemy was the key to taking on the film, Gladiator. There are many more instances like this.

This is my "kwa", my latest at least. I have seen it before, but now in my directing/producing phase it has new meaning.

Multimedia Energy
It possesses a a kinetic pulse energy. There exists multiple sub narratives within the parent one. Your eye wanders around the piece extracting new information. Even on he balcony in the distance, a figure stirs.

In the National Gallery your relationship between the piece is also affected by space.

The story itself goes something like this: Perseus with the head of Medusa foils his own demise at the hand of Phineas who comes to slay his enemy during a wedding party. The head of Medusa turns mortals to stone once their gaze is fixed.

A Gene of Multimedia
But this piece of art transcends into something else: a fabulous piece of multi media. Yes, there is no visible video, no sound, no photography, no text, BUT all those are indented in the piece.

1 There is movement. Look at the swords you see their end trajectory
2. There is sound. It is ghastly and blood curdling
3. There are multiple photographs, still images everyone makes a point
4. And the absence of text is loud, so loud that you want to know more. You are led to the small slate to read, then delve into books and online to research further. Multimedia at play. Yet also the image viscerally provides you with the narrative.

It is a gigantic multimedia piece. For multimedia is about the relationship between space, time and the essence and not neccessarily about the object and click and point, something articulated long before my reckoning by that great New Media theoritican and philosopher Lev Manovic.

It is the sum of all parts that connect to each other - an object that has branches, leaves and fruit all interplaying with each other which we call a tree. It is art. It is the sum of all media personnel working together, and not necessarily a prescriptive view of one, unless s/he understands the language of others.

And that's the problem we treat multimedia as discreet items collected in a shopping basket and mixed together. The technology is an enabler, the defining moment, the big "C" creativity is more elusive.

The painter Luca Giordano, a Neapolitan painter, is invariably described as the most important Italian decorative artist of the latter part of the 17th century. He was also a renowened baroque artist and printmaker - truly a multimedia artist (in tools and production) of his day, and now.

Intermediation - a connection of ideas
History shows us nothing today is sacredly original. But war remains a window into multiple narratives and we have new contemporary authors who understand ones and zeros doing something with the whole to engage us.

I'll write about that later and the fact that modern day, now defunct, drama such as Boomtown replicates a discourse and template for entering a multimedia piece providing variation and different points of view.

And finally, how that one image provided the thrust for this work in progress with a song from Nancy Ginindza. The song talks about how were not made of a stone and that we are delicate as butterflies. Multiple images flood by. I have used this in a raw state and am yet to post produce with sound and motion graphics.

I could then assign multiple links within the video to link to new narratives using a skewed idea from this The Family created in 2000.

Regarding Nancy's lyrics, as a young woman she articulates a point of view - controlled angst and disappointment about the way we solve issues whether its war or contemporary conflicts e.g the environment.

Listen to her interview in the week before you complete your conclusion.

A work in progress:

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