Kandinsky and the constellation of forms

“If natural phenomenon were capable of setting Kandinsky’s soul vibrating in ways that paintings could not reproduce, he became convinced that painting had the potential to produce another order of vibrations in the soul that nature does not. And Kandinsky quickly recognized the implications of this line of reasoning: realizing this potential would necessitate that artists more rigorously develop methods and criteria for working other than those oriented toward the pictorial representation of natural phenomena.”

“The constellation of forms on the surface of the canvas must be judged by the spiritual resonances that they produce more than by their pictorial depiction of external referents.”

So to imagine these principles applied to video, “the constellation of forms on the surface of the [screen]” should also “be judged by the spiritual resonances that they produce.” Which does liberate video from pictorial depiction. So then how do the forms presented in video become/work as a constellation? How do they produce a spiritual resonance? This becomes so complex because of the time-based nature of video. There is a progression of images that push forward and allow no opportunity for review. The individual image must at some level make an immediate impression — no time for reflective contemplation. But on the other hand, the experiencing of a video is more like participating in an event that unfolds over time. And this is how we take in the world in our everyday life. After all, “vibrations of the soul” or “spiritual resonances” are a time-based phenomenon.

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