Ars combinatoria

Todeskino finished part 7 of the Chromophony series

Chromophonie VII - Ars combinatoria

To our knowledge of film history which is quite profound, it's probably unique that this piece is composed after the principles of the GOLDEN SECTION. As we already pointed out earlier, a constant geometric architectonic treatment of measure on the film strip itself is still to be done regarding the art of avantgardistic film. The advancements of what is called structural or metric film is a beginning that confronts us with composing film frame by frame or even continously deframed like the soundtrack (visual sound) after principles like for instance GEMATRIA in the frame numbers applied in former projects and in this piece again, as well as now and for the future after principles like the GOLDEN SECTION or the FIBONACCI NUMBERS. These "classic" means of construction have been well applied perhaps in all art forms in multifarious ways also by the avantgarde as a possibility to evoke affections of a certain "beauty" as well as spiritual perceptions. But in film combinatorics have scarcley been explored, not to speak of the Golden Section. For instance a somewhat "ideal" measure of duration for a section in film - e.g. the ordinary film second 24 frames -  would be 15 to 9 frames (see illustrations).
Furthermore the entire film is composed, even more than "Le dernier art/The Last Art", after a score, like music. The basic elements are 6 colours of the spectrum, to each colour corresponds a sine wave, the most basic and pure sound, to the white light summing up all colours of the spectrum corresponds the WHITE NOISE. Clear leader lets the white light pass, whereas black leader means the absence of light and colour. The colours are handpainted on clear leader with acrylic ink to achieve outstanding luminous colours. The basic geometric shapes circle, triangle, rectangle/square as well as free forms are bleached into the black leader, then filled out by hand with colours. These arrangements of colours, shapes and sounds go through transformations of all possible combinations. The film ends in green or f (352 Hz), according to Kandinsky the colour of accomplished "indifference".

pages from the film score

stills from Chromophonie VII - Ars combinatoria by Todeskino

Kandinsky, the 3 basic colours and shapes (1923)

Eugen Batz, correspondence between colours and shapes (1929/30)

In Architektur und Bildender Kunst wird das Prinzip des Goldenen Schnitts seit tausenden Jahren angewandt. Der Film Ars combinatoria ist wahrscheinlich die erste Arbeit, die dieses mathematische Prinzip, das eine mysteriöse Schönheit evoziert, auf die Filmkunst und das Filmmaterial anwendet. Solcherart entsteht eine neue Perspektive und Konzeption für den strukturalen oder metrischen Avantgardefilm. Der Film ist Kader für Kader nach einer Partitur komponiert und die Verhältnisse der Kaderzahlen, in anderen Worten der Dauern, folgen dem Goldenen Schnitt oder den eng verwandten Fibonacci Zahlen. (Zum Beispiel ein solches „ideales“ Längenmaß für die Dauer eines Filmabschnitts – die Filmsekunde 24 Frames – wäre 15 zu 9 Kader). Arrangements von Grundfarben des Spektrums, geometrische Grundformen (handcoloriert auf Film) und dazu korrenspondierende Sinuston Frequenzen passieren Transformationen in allen möglichen Kombinationen, wie in der seriellen Komposition.

Synopsis in english:

In architecture and fine arts the principle of the Golden Section is well known and used for thousands of years. The film „Ars Combinatoria“ is most likely the first work applying this mathematical principle, that is evoking a mysterious beauty, to the film art and material. This adds a new perspective and conception to what is known as structural or metric avantgarde film. The film is composed frame by frame and the proportions of the frame numbers, in other words the durations, follow the Golden Ratio or the closely related Fibonacci numbers. (For instance a somehow "ideal" measure of duration for a section in film - e.g. the ordinary film second 24 frames -  would be 15 to 9 frames). Arrangements of basic spectral colours, geometric shapes (handpainted on film) and corresponding sine wave sounds go through transformations of all possible combinations like in serial composition.