Image and Process:
i. Visual (conceptual) Space:
The artist and Bauhaus teacher Paul Klee
developed, in his "The Thinking Eye - A Pedagogical
Sketchbook", the foundations of a visual
language on the basis of a single point. As the point "moves"
(or is moved by the artist) it creates the lines,
shapes and planes which underlie Klee's imaginative images.
From a number of basic movements (creating lines, curves,
spirals, squares, etc.) Klee was able to build a repertoire
of elements which he could use to develop his personal
As a young student, I was impressed with the "shamanistic"
nature of his work -which gave me the impression that
important questions could be resolved through this ceative
divination process involving the artist and his medium.
Perhaps, if one knew how the universe worked -then one could
shape it (and oneself) into a harmonius and pleasurable
whole. Logically, the universe which one would understand
best would be the one which oneself had built. Maybe,
building a universe of visual signs could help one to
understand how the universe one lived in also worked.
In Klee's system, the "movement" is
implied by the use of images that would (or could)
have been produced if the point really had moved. The
images -although created by the movement
of the artist's hand -are themselves static. It is the mind
(and hand) of the artist that has created the movement -as
indeed it is the artist's conceptual system that has
determined how and when the point is supposed to move. -It
is also the viewer's perceptual and cognitive systems that
are responsible for "interpreting" the image.
ii. Computational (dynamic) Space:
In computational Space "movement" and "change"
are not implied or suggested. They are the practical
and conceptual fundament of the computational process
itself. Indeed, at the basis of the "computational Process)
can always be found the questions of deciding (or
computing) what, when, how
and why something is to be changed.
In Klee's system, we start with a hypothetical physical
entity (the point) -even though Klee admits
that it has no size, no shape, or colour. We then have to
decide how this hypothetical object is to manifest itself in
concrete (visual) space -as an expression of the artist's
system of (imagined) movement and change.
In computational space, we start with the (hypothetical)
concept of "change" -and then decide in which
(conceptual or concrete system) this "change" is to
be manifest (visibly or invisibly) within a sensory or
procedural domain. The conceptual basis for
this approach was formulated by the British mathematician
Allan Turing as part of his research into code breaking
during WWII. See "Turing Machine".
iii. The Intersection of Visual and computational
Images are generally reflections of the underlying
(ordering) system that created them -either through natural
(organic) processes or by the action of a machine or the
combination of human brain, hand and eye.
Therefore in computational space -does the image create the
system or does the system create the image? Or do they
perhaps each create the other?.... Underlying the
concept of Computational Space lie the problems of Ontology,
Epistemology and Taxonomy: The relationship
between the conceptual categories we use to describe our
universe of experience -and how these definitions affect the
perceived behaviour of the systems being described.
Presumably, such complex interactions will become somewhat
easier to study, if the systems we are studying have been
created by ourselves. For this reason, Computational
Space can be a fascinating and effective
Baclayon January 2011