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Searching for n-dimensional form: Bimanual-Coordination Drawing (BCD) and rhythm as composition
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posted on 24.02.2017by Tosaki , Eiichi
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.