The OPUS Project: interactive 2-0 digital imaging Based on Random Process


Presentation Title:

  • The OPUS Project: interactive 2-0 digital imaging Based on Random Process



  • 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.