Abandoned Essay – Expressionist interfaces.

Here are is some work I did for an essay, which I have put on the back burner for a while. Figured I might as well post it on my blog as evidence of work or a thought process that did not take flight.

How dysfunction can evoke emotion within digital art?

This study firstly attempts to identify some key features within the historical movement of German Expressionism which reached it’s peak during the 1920s.
I will consider expressionism within the mediums of Painting, Theatre, Literature, Architecture, Dance and Sculpture in order to establish a rudimentary overview of this wide branching art movement.
I will start to push Expressionist Cinema into the main focus of this study by analyzing the role of editing, set design, and movement within the early silent films of Fritz Lang, F.W Murnau and G.W Pabst.
I will look at some of the philosophy that was contemporary and influential to that era of art history, notably the works of Fredrick Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger while briefly discussing some metaphysical ideas about perception, and of ways in which time defines space and location, in relation to theories of Timelessness, and nowhere.
I will illustrate some ways in which these great expressionist filmmakers where concerned with such metaphysical ideas.
I believe certain artworks are at war with their own interface because of the way they disrupt time and place, while sharing a desire to absorb empty space and dysfunction within themselves. I see this as a prominent feature of artwork from the expressionist era and also much art work from the digital era.
I will look at Lev Manovich’s Soft Cinema project, Mike Figgis’s Timecode, the Work of Raphael Lozano Hemmer, David Em and Dave McKean, while I explain how and why a new kind of expressionism is achieved when artists from a contemporary, digital culture, express soul and feeling through a decoration or exaggeration of the interfaces they employ.
I will conclude by suggesting some answers to my initial question and I will explain how the expressionist interface might be seen as a prominent feature among much Digital, or/and New Media Artworks
Key Words: Expressionism, Interface, Dysfunction, Subjectivity, Negative Space, Digital Art.


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