a work per day (9): Rodriguez’s THEOREM 8 第八定理, projection and sub-spaces

第八定理 | THEOREM 8

– Hector Rodriguez 羅海德

Theorem 8 is originally a 3-channel video projection installation exploring the intersection of art and mathematics. It is made using a specially authored software that decomposes every frame in a movie using a fixed database of frames extracted from another movie. The project is based on the mathematical concept of orthogonal decomposition, used in many surveillance applications. Theorem 8, however, redeploys this surveillance  technique for very different purposes, to “read” one movie in relation to a second movie. This project thus visualizes the abstract mathematical concept of orthgonal decomposition. The idea is to select a fixed set of frames from one movie and then allow every frame in another movie to make a shadow projection onto each of those frames. Every frame in the second movie is decomposed onto those various changing shadows. By mixing the different shadow projections, it is possible to achieve an approximate reconstruction of the current frame in the first movie.

With this mathematical technique, it achieves a superimposition of frames from two different films: Godard’s Alphaville and Witch’s Cradle, directed by Maya Deren. The two films were selected because their filmmakers used light and shadow as dramatic elements. Godard can be seen a response to the rise of cybernetics and information technologies. Deren and Duchamp were interested in abstract mathematical spaces. The title, Theorem 8, refers to the orthogonal decomposition theorem, which concerns the idea of an object in a higher-dimensional space projecting shadows onto a lower dimensional space.

Since technique of orthogonal decomposition are often used in surveillance software, the work aims to foreground, deconstruct, and liberate the computational aspects of surveillance technologies. Its underlying philosophy is that radical politics demands radical artistic forms. It also shows how surveillance method can be subverted as means of reading or decoding the cinematic tradition.

The research of Theorem 8 advanced from the artist’s previous research in works Gestus and Gestus: Judex (2010-2012), and Inflections (2010-2012).

Theorem 8 was orginally developed as a three-channel video installation, but it also exists in single-channel format, which can be screened with or without a short mathematical introduction, which is the version shown at WMC_e5.

《第八定理》是藝術家親自編寫的實驗性的錄像數據處理軟件，它藉由一套電影作為數據來源，分解另一套電影當中每「格」影像。軟件以「正交分解」的數學方法，把來自高達的《阿爾伐城》及瑪雅‧黛倫《女巫的搖籃》兩齣不同電影的影像重疊。「正交分解」的方法常見於監控用的軟件中。作品旨在凸顯和解構監控技術的程式計算的性質，其背後的哲學強調激進的藝術形式可帶動前瞻性的政治的思考。

Project web site

http://concept-script.com/theorem8/index.html