Text animation writing exists differently in the electronic world than it does in a print context. Although in traditional formats text is typically perceived in a linear fashion, it is possible to skip ahead some words or lines, read the ending before the beginning. And even if you don’t skip ahead, the awareness of holding the complete publication in your hand, knowing the extent of it, the heft of it, affects the experience of perception. Can you hold a text in your head the same way if it’s being spoon-fed to you one word or phrase at a time? What happens when words enter your consciousness but it’s not entirely under your control? Revealing text in a time-based medium exposes our expectations, makes our preconceptions and prejudices transparent. Text animation is a way of controlling the unfolding of understanding. You don’t know where the text is going. Perhaps, ideally, you don’t know how long it’s going to take. It’s more like listening than reading. In fact, it’s closer to the spoken, or perhaps, the thought. Hearing (the soundtrack), reading (the words), seeing (the format), thinking (the meaning) – all are linked in text animation. The sound component so critically enriches the reading experience. What movies make clear is the yearning for a soundtrack – in art, in life! The soundtrack tells you what is going on while you’re blinking. There is no aural equivalent to blinking. There is almost always sound in the world, and when we hear perfect silence (which is extremely rare), it stands out as exceptional. Transparency enables complexity. What are the physical limits to perceiving complexity? Can we “train” to change our physical limits with regard to perception? In music, for example, the extent to which we can hear polyphony is a physical question, but it’s also a question of training. How well we see color – how many colors we can simultaneously take in, while still individuating their character – is a physical limit but, like other physical limits, is it absolute or flexible? Are computers changing our physical limits?
Naomie Kremer comes to electronic art from a painting background. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate level Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts, she shows in Galleries and Museums across the country. Naomie has received numerous awards and residencies including the Djerassi Foundation Artist Residency and the Joshua Tree National Park Artist’s Residency. Naomie was born in Israel, and is currently living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. This year, she will be relocating to Paris, France where she is will continue painting as well as working with computer animation and Digital Video.