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Czasopismo Techniczne PK

Monografia 485 (tom 2), Krakw 2015, pp. 47-52. ISSN 0860-097X

Associate Professor, Krystyna JANUSZKIEWICZ PhD, Eng. of Architecture


Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, West Pomeranian University of Technology Szczecin
Associate Professor, Tomasz MATUSEWICZ PhD in Fine Arts
Faculty of Architecture, Pozna University of Technology, Department of Drawing, Painting, Sculpture
and Visual Arts

Drawing, painting and sculpture in view of digital technologies


of the 21st century.
Immersive environments influencing performative and interactive
activities.
Streszczenie
Nie tylko spr, rywalizacja ale odkrycie nowych moliwoci i synergiczna recepcja obecna
bya w sztuce kiedy pojawiay si nowe media. W XIX w. za spraw fotografii malarstwo
zerwao z odwzorowujc formu kreacji dziea artystycznego. W XX w. kino/film uatwi
poszukiwania nowej formuy dla teatru. Czy w XXI w. rysunek, malarstwo, rzeba
wykonuj zwrot ku nieznanym obszarom techniki zapisywania i kreowania rzeczywistoci w
opozycji lub raczej dziki moliwociom cyfrowych programw 3D. By moe tym
bardziej/dlatego bdzie dy do bliszego spotkania z rzeczywistoci i formaln gr przez
dziaania performatywne i interaktywne.

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Abstract
Not only disputes and competing trends resulted from the appearance of new media in the
art - also new opportunities and synergistic reception were discovered. In the 19th century,
the photography caused the art of painting to abandon attempts to ideally reflect reality in
artistic creation. In the 20th century, the cinema and film enabled the theatre to find a new
formula for its development. Currently, in the 21st century drawing, painting and
sculpture turn towards the unknown areas of recording and creating the reality in
opposition, or rather thanks to the possibilities of digital 3D programs. Perhaps this is the
reason for art to seek a closer encounter with reality and formal games through performative
and interactive activities

Sowa kluczone: rysunek, malarstwo, rzeba, performance, immersja, technologie cyfrowe


Keywords: dawing, painting, sculpture, performance, immersion, IT technologies

Digital media, by extending the impact of visual arts, opened new areas for artistic activities
and influences on the viewer. The boundaries between the real and virtual world have been
blurred. Drawing, painting and sculpture, called collectively arti del disegno (drawing art) are
losing their attractiveness and groups of their recipients are narrowing. In fact, art is trapped
between the ability to express diverse and complex values and the commitment to create
values. Digital technologies have provided tools to create new immersive environments that
include performative and interactive activities.

In the 21st century drawing, painting and sculpture turn towards the unknown areas

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1. The issue of tools, material and activities
Until recently, hand drawing was considered as the basis of all the arts. In practice,
architectural drawing was regarded as an integral medium for recording ideas and presenting
the actual state of the architectural environment or desired changes1. Academic drawing was
taught to record the existing state and to analyse the form and structure of the subject, as it
was helpful in creating new forms, also in architecture. Drawing was perceived not only as a
skill to record the architectural environment and created space, but also as the noblest
instrument for expressing ideas by the process of drawing that visualised the form and
content of the idea, providing a visual message as a three-dimensional illusion. Should we
consider drawing as an act of creating originally immersive environment?

In the 60s of the 20th century, Jan Berdyszak introduced real space into his paintings,
sculptures, graphics and drawings by cutting out openings in his works. When these two-
dimensional works were observed by viewers, light created shadows that lengthened or
shortened creating three-dimensional compositions. The artists created some of his
sculptures by repeating drawing movements in the space and setting the dynamic axes in
a manner forcing the light to induce the impression of almost infinite movement on the
metallic surface. "Sculpture II drawn" consists of bent rods connected in layers at different
angles that create the impression of movement multiplied in space. The sculpture resembles
a sketch made by repeated drawn lines, each of them slightly differ from the other.

1
In the 14th century, Cennino Cennini (1370-1440) differentiated between disegnare and colorire, making
drawing an independent art. Leone B. Alberti (1404-14720) in his treatise De pictura (1435) identified the
following categories: disegno, invenzione and colorito. Lorenzo Ghilberti (1378 -1455) in Commentarii noticed
that drawing is the basis of the different arts. In that period the commentators of art agreed that drawing is an
integral part of a successful work.

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4
Jarosaw Kozowski refers specifically to the process of drawing. Self-defining performance
entitled2: "Thinking drawing / acting drawing" was a part of Drawing Now Project and involved
a drawing act performed on a green school board with a chalk. The effect of this dynamic
artistic activity was a drawing on the board, followed by its analyse and meditation.
Previously, the artist used a white plastic-bristol paper or a white wall and graphite for
drawing/blackening. The effect was measured by a mass, weight applied to the substrate,
and the time was measured from the beginning of the act to its completion. New attributes
were introduced into the work of the artist to inform about the creative process and its stages.
The path and effort becomes the goal itself. The examples presented above intentionally
refer to drawing as the basic skill of an artist. However, they do not define a model or rules
for artistic exploration. Conceptualism produced a set of achievements: installations, objects
and performative actions. "Our mind treats space and time (with included objects) as
structural categories of co-existence and sequence. Both of these categories may be
represented by using a spatial tool formed by visual formulas."3.

Jarosaw Kozowski, "Thinking drawing / acting drawing" was a part of Drawing Now Project and involved a drawing act
performed on a green school board with a chalk.

2
Authors and organizers of the project: K. Klich, D. Fiedler, E. Kulesza, P. Flieger, A. Nowaczyk, P. Polus.
University of Arts in Poznan, 2013.
3
R. Arnheim, Mylenie wzrokowe, Sowo/Obraz Terytoria, Gdansk 2011, 157.

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The concept, the act and the skill of drawing, along with intellectual reasons for the creativity,
indicate unknown intersection points for new media. However, they still refer to already
known drawing issues such as: time of drawing, space, thickness and translucency, the
effect of the illusion, depth and transparency.
Examples of formal search include a part this new experience. In this context, the following
words of Tadeusz Kotarbiski are important: "In every activity, action, causative act, we may
distinguish certain elements. These are: the originator, material, product, any impulse,
circumstances, effect and purpose". 4 Pragmatic impact of the activities provokes the
questions concerning drawing, painting and sculpture facing digital technologies of the 21st
century.

2. Light as artistic material


It took a long time for art to become interested in possibilities of using light to achieve
aesthetic effects The art style called Luminism emerged quite late - in the Baroque period.
In the 19th century, artists started to create moving light compositions, but not until the
20th century did they appreciate the aesthetic value of light as independent factor. A new
trend, so called 'new luminism' emerged and it was considered as "the art of light" or "light
painting", as it used moving, colour lights that formed images or installations. Artists used not
only light, but also shadow, which due to its monochromatic nature could relate to classic
drawing.

Light Arts - painting6 with light

4
T. Kotarbiski, Abecado Praktycznoci, Wiedza Powszechna, Warsaw 1974, 31. 2

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Light as artistic material, Larry Bell and his first experiments

Well-known artist of this period include: Larry Bell (18941956), Frank J. Malina (1912-1981),
Dan Flavin (born in 1933), Bruce Nauman (born in 1941), James Turrell (born in 1943),
Christian Boltansky (born in 1944) and Piotr Kowalski, French artist of Polish origin. In
Poland, Andrzej Pawowski was one of the artist creating in this style - his so called
Cineforms were moving, colourful images and their projection was a kind of improvisation on
a selected music theme. Kinetic art he was also the domain of Wadysaw Hasior (1928-
1999), who expressed himself through fire and burning process. Other well-known items
include self-portraits in light created by Jan slides and reflectors arranged by Julian
A. Joczyk; light sculptures of Antoni Mikoajczyk and installations of Mirosaw Filonik.
Another artist, ukasz Skpski, uses sunlight to guide it via series of mirrors, in order to
'draw' with light and shadow. The artists listed above tried to catch and control the elusive
nature of light to use it as a tool of self-expression.

Jan Chwalczyk, Reproduktor cienia rzucanego/


Reproducer shadow ", 1967

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LED Dots Tiles b) Sensacell Interactive Floor

LIGHT and INTERACTIVITY


The development of technology in the 21st century enables artists to use artificial light more
efficiently in creating visual effects. For example, ICDA office used one of the faades of
7 World Trade Center in New York City to create The Podium Light Wall (2006). This wall is
made of layered mirrors and stainless steel with white and blue LEDs installed between
them. Motion sensors are installed along the wall to track the movements of pedestrians.
Moving people activate the lighting of the faade that projects moving "shadows" onto the
building, reaching its seventh floor. The faade of the building is an installation, a structure,
which changes its appearance in real time as a result of normal activities in the public area 5.

Marco Balich Albero della Vita, EXPO 2015, Milano, 2015

4. Digital space vs. real space


Introduction of digital technologies into visual arts was a breaking point that could be
compared to the discovery of perspective in the Renaissance period. This discovery was an
important combination of science and art, similarly to the modern discovery of multi-
dimensional digital recording, which at the turn of the millennium has revolutionized the way
of thinking and perception. However, the digital space (just as the perspective) has not been
created by one man it is a result of space exploration, scientific research and human
aspirations to (re)create known and unknown worlds6.
When drawing on a flat or curved surface, we are not searching for a space there, we are
only trying to create an illusion of such space by applying certain rules. Perspective drawing
or representational painting are nothing but 3D images saved on 2D surfaces. This saving
method was invented during Renaissance, when the linear perspective was discovered by
scientists and artists attempting to answer the issue of infinity. The art of that time involved
reproducing the space on two-dimensional surface - which meant drawing or painting the
objects perceived by human eye (or imagination).

5
see: K. Januszkiewicz, Powierzchnia jako nowe uwarunkowanie kulturowe. Hiperpowierzchnia i
interaktywno, AV 1/2014, 46-53.
6
see: K. Januszkiewicz, O projektowaniu architektury w dobie technologii cyfrowych. Stan aktualny
i perspektywy rozwoju, Oficyna Wyd. Pwr. Wrocaw 2010, 16.

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Maciej Szakowski refers specifically to the space. He uses rods to create doors or a string
to represent voltage lines, gravity forces or material weight. He presents physical
phenomena present in everyday world. His drawing and sculpture installations are specific
models showing the force vectors.

Maciej Szakowski, "Hidden Dimension" - they were drawings presenting forms made of multiple folded translucent paper.

In the mid-70s of the 20th century, Maciej Szakowski created compositions entitled "Hidden
Dimension" - they were drawings presenting forms made of multiple folded translucent paper.
They suggested a potential three-dimensionality, but were closed in flat forms, limited to two
dimensions and unfoldable in contrast to the presented objects. These "spatial drawings"
were the result of the search for forms that would be able to "store space". Remaining in
a closed or folded state, they always had geometrically or intuitively included space needed
for their potential unfolding or opening"7.

7
E. Gorzdek, grudzie 2010, M. Szakowski, ycie i Twrczo in: CULTURE.PL

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Therefore, the space itself does not to be a physical space, it may be a "playing field" for the
information - gravitational and electromagnetic fields are examples of information present in
real space, the one in which we live.
Digital space is filled with information, its rules and content, which is recognizable due to
its digital structure. This space has the potential to describe the way in which we perceive
and manipulate the real space. Information space is a bridge leading from the real and
imaginary world to the language/myths created by media technology, architecture and
mathematics.
The structure of space is well described by topology. Without topology, would not have our
modern computer graphics. Topology deals with aspects of the space and (in accordance
with its mathematical definition) it examines the properties of geometric objects not affected
by changes in size or shape. Topological spaces, due to their metric nature, may be an
active partner in the designing spaces, in which objects may be formed according to needs.
An important topological structure was developed by Rudy Rucker and John Walker in years
1988-1992. They described the space of kappa-tau curves, basing on the theory of Alexis-
Claude Clairaut (17131765)8.
The first experiments with kappa-tau curves were carried out by Karl Chu in the early 90s
of the 21st century to animate form-shaping processes occurring in nature. The resulting
forms were treated as conceptual sketches and a starting point for functional analysis and
evaluation of aesthetic and architectural form of a structure9.

The first experiments with kappa-tau curves were carried out by Karl Chu

8
In 1731, Alexis-Claude Clairaut introduced the concept of "double curvature", which meant that the track
through 3D space may "bend" in two independent ways. see: M. Kline, Mathematical Thought From Ancient to
Modern Times, New York, 1972, 557.
9
see: K. Chu, The cone of Immanenscendence, Any 23, Diagram Work, 1998, s. n. p.

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Kappa-tau curves are not defined by control points, which is the case of Bezier and NURBS
curves. Kappa-tau space results from the nature of these curves - they make its structure to
dynamic, fast-responsive and unpredictable. It creates conditions for modelling a form in a
space, which is a medium for movement and interaction of forces. Kappa-tau space is a tool
useful not only in designing for industry. It is the basis for creating animated images,
interactive and immersive environments.

Nio and Lars Spuybroek, H2O Pavilion, 19941997

Maurice Nio and Lars Spuybroek are architects, who design using kappa-tau space,
addressing the role of this geometry in implementing/materializing the designs. Three vectors
present in this space suggest the interaction with the environment and interactive matter10.
Designers of H2O Pavilion (19941997) used this geometry to design the interior of the
structure - now it facilitates creating immersive and interactive environments. It is a kind of
"cave", where an educational exhibition is harmonised with the surroundings and creatively
distributes light, colour and sounds.

Stephen Perrella called this cultural phenomenon is a Hypersurface.

Currently categories such as 'real' and 'unreal' seem insufficient. Digital technologies create
new interactive areas of human experience, building a bridge between the real and the virtual
world. The environments of media and topological architecture are dynamically intertwined11.
Stephen Perrella called this phenomenon is a Hypersurface. Referring to works fundamental
for modern arts, written by Deleuze and Guattari Capitalisme et Schizophrnie and LAnti-
dipe (1972), Perrella found the justification of semiotic dimensions inherent to human

10
see: M. Nio, L. Spuybroek, Die Strategie van de Vorm, de Architect, themanummer 57, 11/1994.
11
see: K. Januszkiewicz, O projektowaniu architektury.. op. cit., 112.

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experience of real and virtual space12. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Hyperspace
appears as a cultural conditioning and the result of entwining of language and material
spheres. Although the term Hyperspace exist in science, IT and the physical space-time of
dynamic nature, the culture uses this term to describe the phenomenological experience of
time-space-information13.

Stephen Perrella, Mobius House, 1999


8. Summary
Drawing, in the era of digital technology, is the interface between natural and virtual world,
provided that it is created with knowledge and skills. This indicates a need for new education
in 3D drawing, following the logic of IT tools. Arts reveal a new intellectual substrate based
on knowledge and research, with the imperative of protecting the environment and
sustainable development of the planet. Drawing is a bridge for returning to the humanistic
model and it remains the basic discipline of art. Immersivity in old and new media should be
considered as a phenomenon subject to cultural changes. Although the technology for
creating illusions change, the idea of illusion itself remains the same - only methods and
abilities are different, which affects the quality of immersive environments. This is a part of
the answer that culture has for modern and configured concept of "Nature" in relations
between Man-Technology-Nature and Culture.

12
see: S. Perrella, Hypersurface Theory: Architecture><Culture, AD, August, 1998, 715.
13
see: K. Januszkiewicz, Powierzchnia jako .. op. cit., 47.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] R. Arnheim, Mylenie wzrokowe, Sowo/Obraz Terytoria, Gdansk 2011, 157.


[2] K. Chu, The cone of Immanenscendence, Any 23, Diagram Work, 1998, s. n. p.
[3] E. Gorzdek, grudzie 2010, M. Szakowski, ycie i Twrczo in: CULTURE.PL
[4] K. Januszkiewicz, Powierzchnia jako nowe uwarunkowanie kulturowe. Hiperpowierzchnia
i interaktywno, AV 1/2014, 46-53.
[5] K. Januszkiewicz, O projektowaniu architektury w dobie technologii cyfrowych. Stan
aktualny i perspektywy rozwoju, Oficyna Wyd. Pwr. Wrocaw 2010, 16.
[6] M. Kline, Mathematical Thought From Ancient to Modern Times, New York, 1972, 557.
[7] T. Kotarbiski, Abecado Praktycznoci, Wiedza Powszechna, Warsaw 1974, 31.
[8] M. Nio, L. Spuybroek, Die Strategie van de Vorm, de Architect, themanummer 57,
11/1994.
[9] S. Perrella, Hypersurface Theory: Architecture><Culture, AD, August, 1998, 715.

Krystyna Januszkiewicz, Tomasz Matusewicz, Drawing, painting and sculpture


in view of digital technologies of the 21st century. Immersive environments
influencing performative and interactive activities, w/in: Wyzwania XXI w.
Rysowa, malowa, czy skorzysta z komputera, Czasopismo Techniczne PK
Monografia 485 (tom 2), Krakw 2015, pp. 47-52. ISSN 0860-097X

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