For my thesis project for my MFA in Fibers at the University of Oregon, I wove a series of doubleweave panels inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Chromatic Fantasy' for the harpsichord. I was inspired by the music itself, which consists of individual notes that are played in rapid succession and create rich harmonics as they blur together like broad paintstrokes of color. I was also inspired by the title of the piece and the double meaning of the word 'chromatic'. In music, a chromatic piece is one which uses all twelve tones of the scale to create harmonic richness. Visually, the word 'chromatic' refers to color and the use of the full range of the spectrum.
The weavings The five doubleweave panels of 'Chromatic Fantasy' fit together to create a larger overall composition. Because of the way they were designed, they can be arranged in any order, and they can also be flipped upside down. Because of these possibilities, there are 3,840 different ways that the five panels can be displayed in a linear order.
The flipbook After weaving 'Chromatic Fantasy', I had the piece photographed and made a number of laser prints of the image. I cut these apart into the individual panels and mounted them onto card stock. I then made stacks of each of the ten images and hinged them so that they could be flipped over. The kinetic artist's book has ten stacks of each of the ten images, which yields 10 billion possible combinations.
The video The computer-animated video 'Chromatic Fantasy' is a choreography of images of the woven panels dancing to the music by Bach. I recorded the music into the computer and used the program Macromind SoundEdit to digitize the music. I could then see the music as a wavelength pattern and design its corresponding visual movements. I scanned the images into the computer and using the program Macromind Director placed the images on the screen according to the choreography I had designed.
In October 2000, the 'Chromatic Fantasy' project was installed in the lobby of the Alberta Kimball Auditorium in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where it can be viewed before concerts.