Mike Marshall: Beam and Bubbles

  • ©,



    Beam and Bubbles


Creation Year:



    Cibachrome print


    20 x 24 in.



Artist Statement:

    Each of my works is defined by the movement of objects through space over time. Points, lines, and planes continuously change their position, orientation, color and texture to decide both an art of motion viewable in real time and of composition (freeze frame). The dynamic motion is both and end in itself and a means to step through large numbers of potential static compositions.

    The artist does not draw images freehand, but sits at a conceptual ‘image synthesis control panel,’ consisting of 230 ‘dials’. The desired image and how it changes over time may be dialed in, then viewed and modified in real time. Typed commands perform operations such as listing, loading, saving and modifying parameters that define dial positions and color sets.

    This program has been under continual development since its inception in 1976. Rather than deriving separate programs to draw in different styles, I have attempted to create one method of user interaction that may be applied to any number of specific drawing algorithms or ‘programs.’ In the current implementation, only two pages of ALGOL source code defines how the program interprets the dial settings to draw on the screen. The remaining twenty-eight pages define the user environment.

    By recoding only the small section of the program that draws the picture, the artist can explore an entirely new style of design, while continuing to use the same methods and conventions that controlled the previous version of the program.

Technical Information:

    Hardware: Calma Design System, Data General Eclipse, Lexidata frame buffer