“Theorem 9: Latent Figures”: images within an image (2018) 潛影像:第九定理,象裡有象 (2018)

wmc_e6 2018.10.22 | more works by Hector Rodriguez from his solo “Hidden Variables”: Theorem 9: Latent Figures (2018) | 羅海德作品繼續介紹:《Theorem 9》(第九定理)的「潛」影像(2018)|

《Theorem 9: Latent Figures》是《Theorem》系列的最新近的衍生作。 Continue reading ““Theorem 9: Latent Figures”: images within an image (2018) 潛影像:第九定理,象裡有象 (2018)”

Z (2014-2016, 2018)

wmc_e6 2018.10.21 | more works by Hector Rodriguez from his solo “Hidden Variables”: (2014-2016; 2018) | 羅海德作品繼續介紹:《Z》(2018版)

Z is a moving image analysis system that produces abstract representations of video sequences using a system of predefined grayscale disks, thus facilitating the critical understanding and aesthetic appreciation of cinematic rhythm.

Each disk responds to different aspects of the brightness of each frame. Changes in the higher frequencies reflect changes in the smaller details of the source image. Changes in the lower frequencies reflect changes in the overall shape of the source image.

Z employs a mathematical framework originally devised by physicist Frits Zernike to describe the aberrations of microscopes, telescopes and other optical systems.

Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (1957) deconstructed analytically by Rodriguez’s self-authored software “Z

In the WMC_e6 exhibition, two source films, of varied motion and brightness contrast, are used to heighten the visitor’s study of the power of the software. On one wall is Bela Tarr’s The Man from London (2007) and, on the opposite wall, Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (1957).

***to watch demo videos that explain the work [… …]




The visual interface of Z as an analytical tool and display of changing brightness and amount of visual information within each frame… The symmetrical structure represents the complex numbers involved in the calculation. Discs at the bottom line add up vertically to the discs on top. Horizontally, the discs at top of the screen add up from outside towards the centre into 2 images, which then combine to form the single disc in the lower centre, which is the closest approximation of the film’s original image.
an on-site view of Z (2018) at WMC_e6. in the room adjacent to Gestus: Redux (2018) and Inflections (on the L in the background), 2018.09.26-10.15, at the Sheung Wan Civic Centre Exhibition Gallery, Hong Kong
The two parts of Z on site face to face: Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood (R) and Tarr’s The Man from London (L)

“Gestus Redux” (2018, original version 2010-12) 姿態。微塑。

wmc_e6 2018.10.20 | More works by Hector Rodriguez from his solo “Hidden Variables”: Gestus (2010-2012; 2018) | 羅海德作品繼續介紹:《姿態》(2018版)|

Gestus: Redux (2018, Hector Rodriguez). In this most recent version of the “Gestus” series, the original movie, Judex (1916, Louis Feuillade) is colour-coded by episode. Windows of same colouring suggest they are from the same episode of the 14-part serial. “Colouring” follows two principles from the silent film period: tinting (for brighter areas) and toning (for the greyer areas.

Gestus is a moving image processing framework that uses computer vision techniques to explore the artistic possibilities of the vector as a symbolic form. It consists of a custom software that generates a vector analysis of the movements of videos in a database, identifying sequences that contain similar micro-movements and rendering them side by side.

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Gestus Redux analyses the movements of source videos in a database, identifying sequences that contain similar micro-movements and rendering them side by side. The current version uses source material drawn from Louis Feuillade’s 1916 serial film Judex.

The source film is shown without interruptions in the centre of the screen. The software identifies and displays eight shots, all from Judex, whose movement (speed and direction) resembles the central segment.

This work draws attention to pure movement, as distinct from the object that moves. Whereas our experience of the cinema is normally directed towards people, objects, and events, Gestus encourages spectators to disregard narrative content and pay close attention to visible movement as an end in itself.

The original film Judex (1916) was shown in cinemas as a serial in 12 chapters, a prologue, and a brief epilogue. Each episode has an average length of less than half an hour. The total running time of the film is 300 minutes. For this installation, each episode has been assigned a specific colour. The colours are designed to approximate the combination of tinting and toning, which was often used during the silent movie period.

an on-site view of Gestus: Redux(2018) at the second of WMC_e6’s exhibition series, “Hidden Variables.,” 2018.09.26 to 2018.10.15, at Sheung Wan Civic Centre, Hong Kong

***More details of Gestus: Redux (2018) with video demo [… …]

***An earlier version of the work: Gestus: Judex (2010-2012) [… …]


《Gestus Redux》透過分析影像微動態把電影中有相同動態的不同片段並置同時同步播放。是次版本以路易・費雅德《猶德士》(又名《審判者》)作為影像庫。

《猶德士》是篇連劇,總片長約300分鐘,分成12章,附楔子與結尾,每章約長30分鐘。《GESTUS REDUX》中每章均配以特定的顏色,以仿效當時默片常用的染色法。

Gestus: Judex (2010-2012), on-site at Taipei’s DAC (Digital Art Center Taipei) in “Descriptions of Hearing”「聽覺摹寫」, 2012.02.11-03.15

“Fluxions” 流數 (2012, 2018)

wmc_e6 2018.10.18 | more works from Cinema Expanding: “Hidden Variables” by Hector Rodriguez 「膨脹電影」繼續:羅海德《歧路結節:開合解謎》網上逐一介紹 | Fluxions 《流數》(2012)

Fluxions [1], Lambda print on metallic paper, 120 x 73 cm
Fluxions is an image processing system that visualizes video sequences as changing configurations of pixels. It segments the original video into short clips and applies a motion tracking algorithm to produce a vector description of their movement. It stores the first image of each clip as a key frame, and gradually shifts the values of its pixels based on the vector descriptions of the subsequent frames.

The result can be seen as an abstract visualization of the variation in the original movie. Viewers can also try to recognize or infer the missing objects and events. This tension between figuration and abstraction, between presence and absence, is the heart of this project.

On site at “Hidden Variables,” the artists showed us three metallic prints and one video.

Fluxions [6], Lambda print on metallic paper, 120 x 73 cm, based on The Rape of the Vampire (1966) by Jean Rollin
Fluxions [2], Lambda print on metallic paper, 120 x 73 cm
《流數》(Fluxions) 是個處理影像的系統,把本來的錄像片段呈現為像素的重複組合。程式把原有的錄像切割成小段,以動態捕捉技術分析電影選段畫面,從而生成出影像動態的向量表,其後以選段的第一幀畫面作為關鍵影格,跟據計算出的向量表而逐漸改變像素數值以構成下一幀影格。影像除了是電影的抽象變奏外,觀眾亦可嘗試辨別畫中沒被顯現的物件與情節。因此《流數》經常處於抽象與具體之間,存在與不存在之間,而這正是作品的核心。



“Flowpoints” (2010): an animation “Within the Walls” (2017) and 6 prints on metallic paper 從「流點線」(2010)到《圍城私語》(2017)

a video still from Within the Walls圍城私語 (2017) by Hector Rodriguez

wmc_e6 2018.10.17 | “Hidden Variables,” part 2 of WCM_e6 “Cinema Expanding” is over. Please continue to visit this website where works in the show will be featured one by one| Flowpoints (2010), software written by Hector Rodriguez has churned out six prints and one animation with connected lives.


《圍城私語》(Within the Walls)延伸著《流點線》(Flowpoints) 所探索的;這回的視像素材來自亞弗列・希治閣《 第十七號》選段。如《流點線》的操作,演算將每幀影格轉換成半抽象的彩色線條,組合構成煞有介事的敘事活動,卻又令人困惑而不知所措、難以定性的敘事空間。

The Flowpoints presented at WMC_e6 comprised of six digital prints and one animation titled Within the Walls.

Flowpoints the digital print series explores the tension between digital abstraction and cinematic representation in the information age. A motion tracking program analyses frames from classic films and uses the resulting data to generate abstract line renderings. While the resulting images are linear abstractions, they nonetheless hint at the contents of the films from which they were extracted.

Flowpoints [5], Lambda print on metallic paper, 117 x 90 cm
Flowpoints [4], Lambda print on metallic paper, 112.5 x 90 cm
Flowpoints [3], Lambda print on metallic paper, 117 x 90 cm

Flowpoints [6], Lambda print on metallic paper, 120 x 66.5 cm
Flowpoints [9], Lambda print on metallic paper, 120 x 92.5 cm



Within the walls of an enclosed space, identities become unstable. Figure becomes ground, the body becomes its shadow, and the self becomes other. Characters blend into and emerge out of the enveloping architecture. Strangers gather and perhaps crimes are committed.

Rodriguez’s Within the Walls integrates video art with mathematics and computer science, exploring the tension between digital abstraction and cinematic representation in the context of an ongoing engagement with film history. This video is a collage of isolated moments from Alfred Hitchcock’s crime drama Number Seventeen (1932), which invites and yet frustrates the construction of a coherent narrative action and a narrative space. The work adopts the same motion-tracking system in Flowpoints with updates.

The work can be seen as a combination of experimental rotoscope animation and found footage cinema. The soundtrack is composed in the manner of musique concrete, using brute sounds from the original movie soundtrack, a method that Hitchcock himself adopted many years later in The Birds (1963).

***to watch Within the Walls… …

Produced and directed by: Hector Rodriguez
Computer programming and video editing by: Sam Chan, with Hector Rodriguez
Based on source code by: Philip Kretschmann and Hector Rodriguez
Mathematical consultant: Felipe Cucker

Last day, don’t miss… A visitor’s notes. 最後今天請勿錯過。訪者留言。

wmc_e6 2018.10.15 | 歧路結節,開合解謎 Hidden Variables | 羅海德 Hector Rodriguez | 最後今天 Last day of the show, 11:00 – 19:00 |

A student visitor’s notes to the Artist shared here with her permission:

Research Room occupies the central zone of the exhibition venue, where visitors may take time to read the many conceptual, mathematical and technical issues the Artist had worked through in making the works in this retrospective (2011-2018)


Hi Hector,

I and …my friend… said we like your works. I hope you know that was not for being polite, you know, we are young people, we like what we like. ( ????) We both think that the exhibition is interesting. Although we may hear and see some of your works before in class, it helps a lot when we know more what is actually going on inside your works (but still some works speak more by themselves).

You recommended us to watch Ken Jacob’s Tom, Tom, the Piper’s son before in your Walter Benjamin’s note. I find that your works are highly related to this film. I love cinema (maybe not as much as you do) and this film changes how I think towards cinema. When people talk about how great a film is, they talk about the theme, the narrative, the characters, the mise-en-scene, the editing…etc. but always neglect (are not/cannot be conscious of) how those basic graphical and sonic units combine together [and how that] stimulates and please our brain. We all take those magical perception processes for granted and therefore miss the chance to find a new way to experience cinema. But your works do make those fundamental conflicts be brought to the surface — some conflicts among the units that were not yet discovered. 

I like simple pieces, among those my favourites are Inflections and the one with ongoing 3D terrain indicating the fading memory [Entropic Envelope]. These two give me a poignant feeling right away but the last one you showed us, Z,.. it stands alone. It is very challenging to the audience but also intriguing. Those wheel-like disks make it like a hardworking machine powered up by the film. And then I have a hypothesis for your whole exhibition. Maybe it is a superficial interpretation that you won’t like — you give all these vision machines some characteristics about their processes; they are all struggling but hardworking. And especially in Theorem 8. — why do you give them only 21 frames to reconstruct the movie? They seem really struggling ( ????). 

Forgive my mumble, I am writing this email to just express that your works mean something to me, again not for being polite. Can I ask you a question? How do you choose which framework or theory to work with different ideas? Do you find the theory interesting first or do you find it very related to what you find interesting first? And one more — I hope I will understand the math one day ( ????).


Art meets Mathematics, 2 instances. “Approximation Theory” (2017) and “The Entropic Envelope” (2016-2018)

“Entropic Envelope” (with Stan Brakhage’s Mothlight)

wmc_e6 2018.10.12 | 歧路結節,開合解謎 Hidden Variables | 羅海德 Hector Rodriguez | 最後四天 open until 15 Oct 2018, 11:00 – 19:00 daily | The collaboration between artist Hector Rodriguez and mathematician Felipe Cucker results in “Entropic Envelope” (EE), the visualization of an image analysis process, and “Approximation Theory” (AT), visualized mathematics in prints and a video. AT interrogate the tyranny of our image culture. Continue reading “Art meets Mathematics, 2 instances. “Approximation Theory” (2017) and “The Entropic Envelope” (2016-2018)”

“The Uncertainty Principle” (2017-2018)

wmc_e6 2018.10.11 | 歧路結節,開合解謎 Hidden Variables | 羅海德 Hector Rodriguez | 最後四天 open until 15 Oct 2018, 11:00 – 19:00 daily

sample details of “M/G” (video) in the room The Uncertainty Principle.


Gabor濾波器是透過處理畫面上特定的光波而識別各類圖像邊界,《The Uncertainty Principle》三套影像均以Gabor濾波器演算而成。

This project applies and foregrounds the system of Gabor image filters, which identify various kinds of edges — horizontal, vertical, and diagonal – by responding to specific visual frequencies in an image. Continue reading ““The Uncertainty Principle” (2017-2018)”

Inflections (2010-2012), “to be or not to be” as a parameter of randomness 猶豫,被設計的隨機性,拐點變調

wmc_e6 2018.10.07 | 歧路結節,開合解謎 Hidden Variables | 羅海德 Hector Rodriguez | 27.09 – 15.10.2018, 11:00 – 19:00 daily | Guided tour welcome 導賞歡迎預約。

Hector Rodriguez 羅海德: Inflections (2010-2012) at WMC_e6: Liv Ullman’s hesitation formalized

Artist Rodriguez finds himself mesmerized with moments in life when one does not know how to move on. Continue reading “Inflections (2010-2012), “to be or not to be” as a parameter of randomness 猶豫,被設計的隨機性,拐點變調”

STEM to STEAM: Writing Moving Images with Mathematics 用數學寫會動的影像:歡迎理科同學思考藝術創作

wmc_e6 2018.10.05 | 歧路結節,開合解謎 Hidden Variables: Forking Paths of Visuality and Technology | 羅海德 Hector RODRIGUEZ | 27.09.2018 – 15.10.2018 (11:am – 07:00pm) | 06.10.2018 guided tour (2:00pm) and talk (3:00pm) | 上環文娛中心6樓展覽廳 Exhibition Hall, 6th floor, Sheung Wan Civic Centre | 歡迎理科的中學老師和同學 welcome secondary school science students and teachers

Hector Rodriguez, “Kinematograph” (2008)

羅海德 (Hector Rodriguez) 的個人展覽《歧路結節,開合解謎》,透過數碼媒體藝術探索科學理論及科技應用的潛藏可能。作品涉及的科學概念甚廣,由抽象的數學理論以至各個範疇中的應用數學,如光學、量子力學、訊息科技等,以影像作為起點,引領觀眾走進思考的迴廊。展覽亦設有閱讀室,讓觀眾可按圖索驥,閱覽作品創作過程及理念相關的資料,擴展觀賞經驗。

展出作品所涵蓋的數學理念包括「逼近/近似值理論」(approximation theory)、拐點/反曲點」 (inflection points)、正[交]投影」(orthogonal projection)、「混沌理論」(chaos theory)、「澤爾尼克多項式」(Zernike polynomials)、「單形體積最大化」(simplex volume maximization)、「非負矩陣分解」(non-negative matrix factorization)、和「不確定性原理」(uncertainty principle)

羅氏於大學任教多年,對教育年輕一代不遺餘力,特別希望透過是次展覽提供日常課堂以外嶄新的學習體驗,以新近的 STEM/STEAM 生動教學模式,利用影像或數碼印本呈現複雜抽象的概念,亦以此鼓勵學生跨學科思考,擺脫既定思維路線,投入並享受學習過程。主辦方可安排導覽,為學生提供作品介紹及解答疑問,歡迎查詢預約。

***預約及查詢:「文字機器創作集」第六輯展覽監製 鄧志韜 | 電話:65748872 或電郵 writingmachinecollective.e6@gmail.com 

In his solo exhibition “Hidden Variables: forking paths of visuality and technology,” Hector Rodriguez explores the hidden potential of applying technology and scientific theory through digital art creation. His works engage in a broad range of scientific concepts, from mathematical abstraction to applied mathematics in different disciplines, such as optics, quantum mechanics, information technology and so on. He takes imaging to be his starting point, and lead visitors into a unique cloister of thoughts. As part of the exhibition, a reading room in the central region makes available the bulk of research that has accompanied the artist’s creative process, from both the sciences and the humanities. Visitors are free to browse through the material to make their free connection between the works and the research. It will be a fun experience to join the dots.

Mathematical concepts used in the works on display include “approximation theory,” “inflection points,” “orthogonal projection,” “chaos theory,” “Zernike polynomials,” “simplex volume maximization,” “non-negative matrix factorization,” and the “uncertainty principle.”

Hector Rodriguez teaches computational and digital art and new media theory at the School of Creative Media, and is dedicated to softening the great divide between the arts and the sciences among the young generation. In the exhibition “Hidden Variables,” he exercises what is recently known as “STEM to STEAM” pedagogic model to generate new experiences outside the classroom for young people. His mathematically generated digital prints and videos visualize for us abstract concepts. Young visitors are encouraged to think cross-disciplinarily, to think out of the box, and to enjoy learning new concepts.

The general public is welcome to contact us to set up guided tours during the exhibition period.

Contacts: Tobias Tang (Exhibition Producer)
Mobile: 65748872 | Email: writingmachinecollective.e6@gmail.com