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(Digital creatures)

A single shape, a few particular arrangements, and various polar distributions resulting in objects that the eye recognize as spatial. And while their spatiality is certainly interesting to observe, it was the distinctive beauty of the arrangements that encouraged us to create more of them, just to see how convoluted these shapes can get and where does their sense of beauty come from.

We thought at first that we can only credit their beauty to their geometrical and interconnectivity attributes like symmetry, progression, connectivity, reciprocity, complementarity, proportionality, intricacy etc. Surprisingly, we've learned that beauty does not only arise from the structure itself, but very much the duration of the observation plays a role here.
If one looks at a a single image long enough (following the contours, observing the arrangements, the colors, the positions, the curvatures, the relations, the juxtaposition etc.), the aesthetic pleasure dissipates, it becomes obsolete giving room to rationalization (pleasure-able though, but in a different way). Running the images fast enough one now only guesses the beauty mostly, without reaching the apex of aesthetic satisfaction. It feels rather confusing.

One example comes from football (yes, the proper name for the game with a ball played with the feet). Watching a videoclip of a match, at natural speed, the familiar viewer understands the dynamic between the passer, the ball, the goal-getter, the other players and the goal-keeper. He/she describes the synchronization of all movements something of beauty, especially when the ball ends-up in the net. But now watching the videoclip in slow-motion, suddenly the directionality and the coordination between moving parts is no longer clear. We don't know in what directions everything moves and at what speed. We can't make any short or long term predictions anymore. The individual scenes loose most of their meanings deriving from the dynamics of the game, and eventually reveal other meanings (which don’t make use of the Time factor).

Another example that most of the people are familiar with is the pales’ stroboscopic effect which makes the wheels of a car, or the blades of a helicopter’s rotor look like they move in reverse, when turning at certain rate. That rotation rate, though, must be corelated with the number of frames per second of a shutter speed of a camera, or with that of a human vision which also works in frames per second (the fundamental principle of cinematography). In this case it is more obvious what parameters of the observer and the observee must corelate, but that’s not allways the case.

At this point we are tempted to accept that beauty must then reside in our minds' ability to identify patterns, given the optimum exposure duration (processing window). In other words, we start understanding that at different rates an observer may find a different beauty, which only at that rates arise well connected, well describable, and meaningful. Certainly a subject for further investigation.


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