Rohini Devasher – Arboreal

<p>This work began with an exploration of L-systems or the Lindenmayer system, a formal grammar most famously used to model the growth processes of plant development, introduced and developed in 1968 by the Hungarian theoretical biologist and botanist Aristid Lindenmayer. L-System rules are recursive in nature which in turn leads to self-similarity and thereby fractal like forms that mimic branching patterns in the natural world. <em>Arboreal </em>or ‘relating to or resembling a tree.’ however is not modeled on any algorithms or programs. Via a deeply intuitive process, the artist constructs a successive set of trees through the gradual manual layering of more than 700 individual layers of video, within a video editing software. By gradually increasing the recursion level the form slowly 'grows' and becomes more complex, engulfing the space. <br>The raw footage for the video was video-feedback. In principle very similar to the old kaleidoscopes, video feedback is created when any ordinary hand-held camera is plugged into a TV and then made to point at itself. The optical equivalent of acoustic feedback, a loop is created between the video camera and the television screen or monitor. Like two mirrors facing each other, the image is doubled and interferes with itself. With patience and certain amount of trial and error it becomes possible to explore a vast arena of spontaneous pattern generation by varying the available controls (brightness, contrast, hue, focus, camera angle etc). </p> <p>The result is an amazing array of spatio-temporal patterns, mimicking those exhibited by physical, chemical, and biological systems, i.e. plant structures, cells, tree forms, bacteria, snowflakes... They are not imposed from the outside in any way and are entirely self-generated within the loop. This footage is then sliced and edited by layering and manually stacking within a video editing software to create the work.</p>