Aesthetically Endangered Forests

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Dorian Koehring A10317052

Title: Aesthetically Endangered Forests

VIS 159/ICAM 150 Final Project, Winter 2015

TA: Stephanie Sherman

Completion Date: 03/17/15

Place of Creation: Computer

Style: Audio-Visual (Musical Electronic Composition + virtual desktop recording feedback-looped Graphics recorded directly from desktop.)

Technique: Audio component created via Ableton Live. Visual component created by virtual feedback looping of my desktop using ManyCam and CamTwist.

Material: Soundscapes both recorded by self and found through the web, various found-sounds recorded around house, synthesizer, violin, GIFs found on web and edited via Photoshop.

Link to documentation of piece:

         For my final project, I decided to combine complimenting forms of media (music as well as video) in order to create a more in-depth piece than my midterm. Touching on an array of topics, “Aesthetically Endangered Forests” attempts to demonstrate how beauty stemming from complexity and self-repetition is seen in a plethora of naturally occurring systems.

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Indeed, the visual component of my piece attempts to convey the fractal nature of forests and other systems virtually by taking advantage of feedback loops and the positive aesthetic effects caused via its self-repeating nature. Similarly to the way in which one can create a visual feed-back loop by connecting a video camera to a TV and pointing it at the screen, the fractal nature of the tree-themed graphics in my piece were created in a parallel, modernized fashion: using two desktop-recording programs simultaneously so that one records a selected area of my desktop while the other records the output of the first program. Furthermore, by beginning with a lush, bird-filled soundscape and transitioning to a harsher, barren soundscape of a forest being demolished at the end of my composition, the musical component intends to exemplify how deforestation by humans not only endangers life’s complexity and biodiversity, but also endangers beauty itself. Ultimately, I hope my piece manages to instill a deeper and fuller understanding and appreciation of the innate fractal nature of our universe and the essential bond shared between complexity/self-repetition and aesthetics.

Inherent to a diverse array of fields, including music, visual art, ecology, geology, physics, astronomy, mathematics, computing, even psychedelia, fractals are no-doubt some of the most gorgeous phenomenon of our universe.

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– Dorian Koehring


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