[ISEA97] Artist Talk: Carlos Fadon Vicente – The OPUS Project: interactive 2-0 digital imaging Based on Random Process

Artist Statement

OPUS can be described as a conceptual and aesthetic inquiry on electronic art, focusing the man-machine partnership and the continuum creation-production cycle. Its scope is the interactive generation of computer images based on random process—due to its inception, the resulting images are unique.With a time span of one year (199697), the project also included software development, under the responsibility of Carlos Freitas as system specialist, and was funded by a Vitae Fellowship in Arts (Brazil). In essence, the project is intended to promote an association among intuitive and logical qualities of the human being (‘author’) and logical algorithms of the computer (‘co-author’). This purpose is articulated through three distinct image transformation programs (plug-in type, Adobe Photoshop TM standard), briefly:

  1.  Opus, sets a dialog in which the chance, from low to high, and the extent, from subtle to radical, of participation of the computer are to be selected, as independent variables, rendering an image directly on paper;
  2.  Hermes, sets a dialog in which the extent of participation of the computer, from subtle to radical, is to be selected, rendering an electronic image;
  3.  Chaboo, sets a dialog in which the participation of the computer is granted in advance, rendering an electronic image.

Opus and Hermes share a similar image transformation model, a set of mathematical equations following design guidelines. Chaboo resulted from programming errors , thus absorbed as non-predictable transformation models — it can be considered as a contribution of the project to the project itself. From the operational stand point, the interaction starts with someone, the ‘author’, submitting an image for transformation, entire or selected portions, and it ends with the participation of the computer, the co-author: For sure, this procedure can be repeated and/or combined with any other resource for image construction and manipulation. Funded in the binomial causality/non-causality, interaction and iteration are OPUS main issues, mediating project definition, software design and image generation. The project framework displays a connection with the Jungian notion of synchronicity and leans to the exploration of computers unforeseen behavior. Its emphasis remains in an”internal dialog” and at same time it underplays any “technological glamour’: The synthesis of those inter-relations rests on the images made with the Chaboo, Hermes and Opus modules, forming the CHO essay. They point to a process, as a metaphor of the interleaving of human and computer memories, rather than as representation of reality according some cultural tradition. For a viewer, finished images are seamless, been of little importance to establish the participation of each one,’author’ and ‘co-author: The OPUS project was conceived in 1990 as an offspring of Vectors, a series of images rendered on paper, exhibited at the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (1991) and in “The Art Factor” show at FISEA’93.

  • Carlos Fadon Vicente (Brazil). Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1945, Carlos Fadon Vicente holds two undergraduate degrees from the Universidade de Sao Paulo: Civil Engineering from the Escola Politecnica in 1968, and Fine Arts from the Escola de Comunicacdes e Artes in 1982. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1989 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, on a scholarship from the Brazilian government,The status of photography as a system for elaboration of realities as well as essays about the urban landscape are his key issues, since he started with photography in 1975. Drawn from his cultural background, the concern for art and technology synergy further developed in 1985 through the use of computer systems directed to image construction, thereafter to man-machine collaboration in digital imag­ing and multimedia pieces. Around 1987 he began a series of interactive experiments with telecommunications, employing slow-scan TV and videotex, later adding on fax machines and computers. Carlos Fadon Vicente has partici­pated in one-man shows, symposia and group exhibitions, and his works are present in public and private collections. He has articles and portfolios published in the Americas and Europe.