by Norbert Pfaffenbichler for sixpackfilm
cubica is an example of a rare type of work, namely a completely abstract three-dimensional computer animation. The application programmed by m.ash is based on the control system of the popular computer game Snake. The running program was filmed on video in realtime during a live session, and the final product was left unedited. The basic formal structure is a product of the dichotomies of algorithmic automation versus manual manipulation, and randomness (created by means of a random event generator) versus set action.
At the very beginning, a small white pixel is visible on a black background. It begins to move orthogonally, describing a square on the screen. As the right angles increase in number, they expand into the third dimension and begin to form cubes. The cubes then join in chains apparently searching without pause for a way out of a larger invisible cube which defines the borders of their digital universe.
While this is happening, the pulses of Chris Janka’s technoid soundtrack influence the “snake’s” direction. As is the case with many computer games, cubica permits its player to choose the point-of-view, such as from the outside then switching suddenly from a subjective point-of-view
at the head of one of the many “snakes,” racing through a world of cubes with neither horizon nor other points of reference. This work, based on the ideal form of
a square or cube, provides a fascinating scene for everyone who can appreciate formal precision and perfection.
(Translation: Steve Wilder)