I take a great deal of inspiration from the abstract art of the 20th century and through my own work I often aim to replicate these aesthetics in a digital context. In particular, I’m pretty enamoured by the neo-dadaist collages of Robert Rauschenberg. These pieces consist of silk screen prints from magazine images overlaid with paint. Using this technique, Rauschenberg found that he could comment on modern society using the very imagery used to shape that society.
About a year ago I decided to write some software which would allow me to paint using this approach. I wanted to build a mobile app that would give users the ability to paint using a live video stream. Unfortunately the technology to allow me to realise this idea had not yet been released. This could be achieved with a smartphone but I required more screen space. I needed an iPad with a camera. In March this year, the iPad 2 was released with both a front and back facing camera. Bingo! I proclaimed, and snapped one up straight away.
I’m excited to announce the release of Composite, my 3rd mobile app, and my first for the iPad 2. Composite allows you to remix your surroundings to create artistic compositions. Users are given the opportunity to paint pictures using the live video stream from their device’s front and back facing cameras. Simply point your iPad towards your subject and start painting to reveal it. A variety of control over the brush and video stream is offered to allow for a huge range of different aesthetics. These include brightness, contrast, colour offset, alpha, blur and thickness.
More than anything, I’m looking forward to seeing how people use Composite. In addition to being a tool to create finished compositions, I believe it would be excellent as a quick sketch pad for artists and illustrators to combine ideas on the go for future pieces. I also think it would be great in schools to help teach kids about art. As with Fracture and Konstruct I have created a Flickr gallery to showcase the best submitted artwork. I can’t wait to start filling it up with your work.
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In terms of the credits, I was responsible for the concept and development. My fiance and in-house designer Juliet Lall took control of the design and all branding, including the Composite website. The app was built using openFrameworks.
So install it, paint some outstanding compositions and please email your best work to submissions [at] composite-app.com to be featured in the Composite gallery. And if you like it, feel free to review it.