Landscapes of the Mind

Landscapes of the Mind is a collection of five digital animation pieces by Thomas Lisle.

The collection title is inspired by Lisle's reading and research into Jungian psychology merged with research into the symbols of the unconscious. A great introduction to this is a book by Jung and his collaborators, Man and his symbols. These symbols are, of course, ever-changing and related to our everyday world, hence the sci-fi influences.

"Each video doesn't really have a story but is a combination of events, forms, expressions, and interventions combined with elements of drama and suggestion, that come together to give a hint of the inner psychological world.

The main technique used in these works is a digital 3D paint system developed by Duncan Brimsmead. Anything you see which is a tube is basically painted in 3D, so technically speaking its a sculpture as well as being three-dimensional. The software captures the direction and pressure of a brushstroke and digitises it, this data can then be applied to many different variables of the virtual brush stroke. The paint stroke may not spread liquid paint (though it could); more importantly, the paint stroke is liberated from its material limitations. No longer frozen in time, it's free to move like music or a human. Hundreds of variables in its formation can be animated and disseminated. For example, how many tubes make a stroke, how strongly they adhere to the original brushstroke path, what forces are acting on the brush stroke.

All the human figures are made by painting on top of a 3D model of a human, or monster. The paint strokes become the subject rather than the original character. The result is a portrait of the paint forms animated by a digital skeleton, and motion capture file, of a real person's motion.

There is a vast array of 3D animation techniques and simulations available to artists, but really very few that have some relation to the hand and eye relationship of painting, the tradition passed down to us from cavemen, as the means to express humans inner world. Even cave painters at sites like Lascaux, used rudimentary brushes rather than a finger to paint with. New painting tools and techniques, the same old subjects." - Thomas Lisle.

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