March 20, 2014


This was my entry to the Norman McLaren Wall to Wall competition – which celebrates his 100th anniversary by projecting new works inspired by his films onto the facades of large buildings in Montreal from April to June this year.

Sadly my film wasn’t selected, but I’d like to share it anyway.

Here’s the full concept I submitted.

“This film is a re-imagining of Norman McLaren’s original ‘Spheres’ film through the process of fractal iteration.

This process begins by using luma keying to extract the spheres from the textural backgrounds, the result is then visually repeated, each repetition gradually changing in scale and angular direction. This result is a single iteration. The entire process is applied again to this iteration, creating a more complex visual result. The iterative process is then applied several more times creating extremely complex but natural looking patterns.

These patterns are found everywhere in nature – from seashells, snowflakes and flowers to crystals, molecules and galaxies.

Sometimes the luma keying, by accident or by design, picks up surrounding textural elements from the background art – adding to the colour and diversity of the final image.

The film opens by showing the original work, and occasionally throughout reverts momentarily to the original work in a seamless transition that shows the inspiration and source behind the new imagery, but also showing visually to the viewer the fractal iterative process at work as it builds to infinite complexity, and retracts back again.

Though not deliberate, the film subtly echoes the ‘step and repeat’ process of McLaren’s Pas de Deux film.

The soundtrack mimics the visual technique of the textural patterns in an audio context – by taking the original ‘Spheres’ soundtrack and processing it through dense spectral filters to create a new work – an impressionistic, shimmering atmosphere of Gould and Bach which enhances the visual dreamlike experience.

It could be said that ‘Iterations’, although a film in itself, could also be seen as a posthumous collaboration between a computer artist in the digital age, and a film artist in the celluloid age – both searching to create beauty through innovation with the technology of the time.”



One Response to “Iterations”

  1. […] – with a short film. All imagery and animation created from my fractal pattern technique (described here) – the universe, the stars, life, DNA etc. A visual poem about the origins of life and the […]

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