︎ Swinging, 2016

Swinging (link) is an oil painting by Wassily Kandinsky made in 1925 and acquired by the Tate in 1979. The title “...conveys the painting’s sense of dynamic movement, suggestive of the rhythms of modernity.” In many ways Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstract painting, could relate to digital artists. His focus on geometric forms and colors to create compelling compositions is a pursuit of the atomic. These components are atomic building blocks across all of painting. However, when Kandinsky built with these units he was able to create scenes that are otherworldly. Swinging is a prime example, a painting liberated from “naturalistic appearances”. Because most digital art is relegated to a screen, there is a similar otherworldly quality to digital work. Screens are not natural and as such nothing fully looks natural through them — they’re flat, they emit light, and in most cases there are filters that alter their qualities.

Interactive reimagination of Kandinsky’s 1925 oil painting. Click to play.

This piece was originally commissioned by Tate Kids in 2017. It is also a collaboration between Lullatone, Calango, and Jono.