Composition within a page, within a page
I had an interesting discussion recently about the composition of a page of images on Instagram. This artist is using Instagram as a display for his work photographing images of his work and putting them onto his page. But then as his highly original works are added to his page he was troubled by the layout of images which changed with each upload. On the left hand page, is the area around ‘Paint” too white and therefore distracting and therefore drawing the eye away from other work? It did however work better as an image in the central column rather than being caught on the edges. The image below ‘Paint’ is again cropped, leaving an area of white blank around the image. This works as there is the white area above and the central column now has a white focus. The colours all have a similar dark cool aura, even the orange, red, yellow and green image in the bottom right had uses dark shading matching other hues. There is a unity about this page that can be seen as a whole, a snapshot of snapshots that talks about this artist.
Scroll down and on another page, or stopping point, the image on the right was taken. Here the flow or unity of the page is not as cohesive. The top line is somehow unsatisfactory with the two central spheres giving way to a strange coloured image on the right. This whole page of images works less well than the one on the right and points out this whole new dynamic of the page within the page. We understand that this mobile app will display 12 full images on a page but is this a page? These are only ‘pages’ because I have taken an image of this collection at this moment. Scroll down and the ‘page is different the composition changes and the ‘Unity’ as Fry describes, might exist or might not.
Now the artist adds another problem, he takes a new image! It is like that simple child’s game of a number of small sliding squares set within a larger square, with one square removed so that you can slide the small squares around to create the image or the number pattern. Suddenly the whole pattern changes, the ‘Paint’ in the left hand image moves, the white border is no longer central and the equilibrium is lost.
Does this matter? To the artist displaying his work it did. This is a display board of work, open to everyone and there the place someone might look to check out the work of a new young artist. The compositional unity of each flow of images needed to create an ‘interior unity’. The viewer could not be relied on to stop at the ‘pages’ I have recorded. They would scroll through stopping as the scroll flowed. The artist now works to upload in sets of three. Creating a unity between each line upload has created a control feature over the pattern. The image on the right was given unity by adding another sphere image to the top line, and thus the artist still had some sort of control over the way the images were viewed.