Kaleidoscope Images, Swirling into Abstraction

Do you remember looking through kaleidoscopes when you were a kid? I never tire of looking at the spectacle of images that kaleidoscopes make.

Kaleidoscope and mirror image are two effects I have used in my recent experimentation with abstracting the video footage I have shot for my senior project. Here is test footage of the floor to celling screen, with projection of my footage in various mirror effects. We used the program called Isadora to do this, at the ACCAD EMMA lab at The Ohio State University. I like how this effect makes literal the term, esho funi, “oneness with the environment”.

You can see how excited I was then, to hear about a kaleidoscope video of nature and animals at the Wexner Center for the Arts. This video, Twice Removed, by well known video artist Leslie Thornton, was both subtle and powerful. The camera remained steady, focused on a large crow, or an alligator peering out of the water, so that the small movements of the animal became more noticeable. With each movement, the form of the animal broke into a new explosion of 1,000 different images. I saw the alligator’s eye as an array of rich colored jewels. The original footage played alongside the kaleidoscope footage, so I could see both the form and the abstraction. Watching the video renewed my awareness and appreciation of other animals.

*Featured image from the Wexner Center for the Arts webpage.


3 responses to “Kaleidoscope Images, Swirling into Abstraction

  1. Your kaleidoscope video is beautiful! I like the blue sky and the autumn tree at the background. I agree with you that you mixed the dance with sky and tree.

  2. Reblogged this on Claire Talbot and commented:
    Ohio State Senior Ellen Maynard’s take on video artist Leslie Thornton’s, “Twice Removed.” I saw Thornton’s video a few weeks ago as part of the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the Wexner Center of the Arts in Columbus. Like Maynard states, the video creates the effect of “Esho Funi,” a Japanese term for the Buddhist concept of the oneness of life and its environment.

    Find out more on Thornton’s piece here: http://www.filmlinc.com/pages/twice-removed

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