Visual Pleasures


The Computer/Artist Interface

Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favours by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires of carrying any one long on her shoulders.

- Baltasar Gracian

In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.

- Nathaniel Hawthorne

These lovely animated gifs are by artist Steve Bennett, who also wrote the comments below each picture.  These are only a few of several by this truly outstanding artist on the Museum of Computer Art Virtual Museum site - a fantastic site which I strongly recommend you visit.  However, I must say I like Bennett's work best of those I saw (it would take days to view everything). 

November Song

Sometimes I find myself yearning for the silence of winter,
for the feeling that the world and I are inaccessible and remote from each other.
There is a fleeting barrier on some snowy midnights when nothing can reach into me -
the door is shut fast, and no one wishes to come in and no one wishes to go out.
All of Creation sleeps, dreaming in drifts, drifting in and out of dreams.
Even the sound of my own heartbeat is muffled, as if it too were listening to the quiet November Song.

I am living in the South now, with a magnolia right outside my window;
winter is just a memory of a memory.
I guess I will try this life for a while, but someday I think I will look out this window again, on a landscape of eternal ice.
And instead of putting more wood on the fire, I will open the door at last and enter that world,
and I hope never to return.  (SB)

Matters of Grave Concern

Our Master has forgotten his students and his affairs, walking down a fiery colonnade preoccupied with some important matter
He has no time to spare for thoughts of small consequence, such as you and me
Even the spirits of fire that swirl around him cannot disturb his single-minded concentration,
and I suddenly felt ashamed, as though I were spying on him, although I came here quite by accident
I had no way of knowing that I was the important matter he was weighing,
and that nothing could have been of more concern to him
I slunk away like a thief, bitter and sundered from my Self.
That was long, long ago, but I still await some decision, holding my breath along with the rest of mankind.  (SB)

Night Train

This may not be art, but I think it IS a very nice animation.  That is me in the boxcar of course in the 40's.
I think I was a deserter or something but I am unclear on that life.  But I have strong deja vu from that time period.
Whether that means I believe in reincarnation or whether that means I believe in inherited memory traces, I'm not saying.
But somebody was on that train.  I remember. (SB)

Commotion in Gold

This is one of my favourite images these days, even though I created the code for it a long time ago,
for something entirely different.
This is approaching the limits and boundaries of something I am trying to convey, a static image really,
yet imbued with a life of its own, independent of our perceptions and interpretations.
Like me, these objects seek a well-deserved rest, but I doubt they will ever find it.
We just swirl around and around, in our little fish bowls,
troubling and then somehow comforting each other.
I am saying prayers tonight for a dear person whose son is gravely ill.
I hope Frost was wrong, and that something gold, can somehow, somewhere, stay.  (SB)

Source:; Steve Bennett has even more work on his website, Karmastorm Animations.  He says his animations "were all generated with the POVRAY freeware raytracer except for a few rare mesh objects.  I hope they serve their purpose, which is to provoke thought, and perhaps on the rarest of occasions, to silence it."  Check him out.

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