Searching for n-dimensional form: Bimanual-Coordination Drawing (BCD) and rhythm as composition
2017-02-24T01:19:18Z (GMT) by
Bimanual Coordination Drawing (BCD) investigates visualising compositional rhythm in the genre of drawing, by using a bi-manual technique (both-hands simultaneously). This approach to drawing produces non-figurative (non-iconic) artwork, pursuing the musical condition of visuality through the concept of ‘rhythm as composition’ (or schema). The aim of BCD as a studio practise is to generate a variety of configurations or patterns according to the number of strokes/beats, which can be interpreted and analysed as forms of rhythmic structure. I have theorised BCD according to my own understanding of visual rhythm, which was the subject my former dissertation1 and is based on the idea of “rhythm as composition”. Applying this concept of visual rhythm within practice-based research enables BCD to investigate visualising compositional rhythm in the context of developing unique approaches of drawing and creativity. Artistic practices which closely interrelate theoretical and philosophical investigations and discoveries within the studio practice are very rare (Piet Mondrian is a notable exception). In this thesis I will demonstrate the close connection between my BCD practice and theory/philosophy, especially around the understanding of ‘image’ and ‘rhythm’: I propose the idea of ‘image-screen’ as a pictorial strategy for theorising visual composition beyond the referential semantic realm]. The BCD drawing project argues that the urge to construct referential images (with Nature as the externalised referent) is no longer the main purpose or aim of manual image making. This project emphasises the participation of short-term and long-term memory in the drawing process (BCD requires memorisation of the strokes of each pattern), through which the composition opens up the linear flow of time. The BCD process generates compositional structure in its fundamental state (which it shares with musical composition), by finding elementary patterns based on the number of strokes (or beats) that form each drawing: these basic patterns are conceived as an elementary, combinatorial vocabulary for further improvisation and further development. It introduces the cooperation between left and right hands as a process that involves separation, conflict and unity, rather than habitualised technical skill: the goal is not just to establish fluency in the drawing process to generate visual rhythms. There are broader, socio-cultural implications of bi-manual dexterity: these arise from the epistemological shift that BCD affords.