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Culture and Art

Art in design. The specifics of creating a visual image of a musical and artistic event

Demidova Malvina

PhD in Art History

Associate Professor, Department of Information Technology and Computer Design, St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture

191186, Russia, g. Sanktpeterburg, nab. Dvortsovaya, 2

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Abstract: The object of the research of the article is an actual topic for a modern designer the forms of representation of a sound/musical image by visual expressive means. The subject of the study are examples of information and accompanying materials developed for cultural events related to music. The projects of contemporary authors Duan Zhihua and Rocio Galarza (Rocío Galarza) are analyzed. The purpose of the work is to consider the specifics of creating a visual image of a musical/sound composition, as well as the design approach of conducting project work on creating a composition in which visual and sound contexts form a structural unity. The research method in this work consists in applying an analytical approach to the analysis of design projects dedicated to music, which is based on the synthesis of iconographic and semantic analysis of compositional solutions, and can be used in the design, research and educational activities of the designer. The scientific novelty of the research lies in the introduction of new empirical material into circulation, in which the creation of a project compositional form is considered as the creation of a communicative system based on the combination of expressive means encoding information about visual and sound content. The study showed that the musical image perceived, as a rule, through the performer, in creating its visual equivalent implies its interpretation by the designer. The analysis of the projects of modern designers posted on the web confirmed that in a visual image that carries information about a musical and artistic event, visual and sound contexts form a structural unity, becoming a unique subject for study, contributing to the development and improvement of design methods. In the works of modern designers Duan Zhihua and Rocio Galarza, there is a desire to develop compositions that differ in an easily readable semantic connection of artistic and expressive elements with a broad socio-cultural context.


design, music, multimedia, polygraphy, visual design, corporate identity, visual and sound image, music and art event, poster, booklet

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Modern practice requires the designer to have skills in various ways of transmitting the content of the project, including the ability to work in modern software development environments with different types of visual and audio information. This article is devoted to the actual practical problems faced by a designer specializing in graphic design and multimedia.

A vivid visual image of a musical and artistic event should remain in the memory of the participants for a long time. For this reason, no less attention is paid to the development of information and advertising support for a festive concert or festival today than to the compilation of the repertoire, script, direction and rehearsal of each individual number. Designing and developing the corporate identity and graphic content of all information carriers of a cultural event is the creative task of the designer, which involves creating harmony between the precisely found artistic form and content, building a visual image to sound, finding a balance between attractiveness and practicality, functionality and ease of reading information.

The relevance of the research topic is due to a significant increase in the number of cultural events involving various types and forms of information presentation at the same time, as well as the unabated attention of design theorists and design practitioners to the study of the specifics of visual forms that carry information about the sound space and the content of musical and artistic projects. The consideration of complex issues of the implementation of aesthetic and artistic communication in design projects developed for musical and artistic events opens up the possibility of in-depth study of ideas about the specifics of interactions in the modern system of relations "communication design art society".

Creating a visual image of a musical and artistic event requires solving certain tasks. First, it is necessary to clarify what exactly the features and specifics of the visual image of this musical and artistic event are seen in. Secondly, it is necessary to analyze the content of the sound material of the musical and artistic event for which the composition of the design project is being created. Thirdly, using the example of the works of modern designers, it is necessary to consider possible mechanisms for creating a visual composition that carries information about the sound, the sound space of the project, which should contribute to a better understanding of the technique of "grammatical" research of the structural interaction of all compositional elements. The solution of these tasks should be facilitated by an analytical approach to the study of the material, which can be effectively used both in the design and educational activities of the designer.

In various fields of humanities, there are different methods of analyzing and studying the content of complex semantic systems. For example, the work of the Russian author D.R. Valeeva [3] contains an analysis of the most common methods of studying the idea of textual content, which are actively used in linguistics, namely: component analysis, the study of the internal form of a word, contextual analysis and other research methods. She notes: "The study of the conceptual structure of the text is of particular importance, since the works of art represent both the basic, nationwide conceptual picture of the world and the individual author's" [3]. M.V. Dronik reveals the meaningful aspect of abstract painting on the example of Russian artists of the early twentieth century using the iconological method of analysis in his work [8]. Graphic design in the context of modern visual culture and new technologies is considered in his work by R.Y. Ovchinnikova [17]. The study of the essence of the phenomenon of the artistic image in the musical art is devoted to the work of R.Z.Komurji [11]. S.S. Skrebkov reveals the specifics of creating a musical image by explaining the artistic principles of musical styles [19]. A. Andriyauskas analyzes the visualization of a musical image by expressive means of painting on the example of M.Churlenis' creativity [1]. The Russian artist, the theorist of the avant-garde movement of the beginning of the XX century V. Markov [14] and other famous avant-gardists of that time stop their attention on the musical texture [16, 21]. The works of M.V. Demidova [6], Se Heng Kim [10], L. Kun [13] and V. Martynov [15] are devoted to the interpretation of the musical text using visual means, as well as the fixation of its image and content through modern musical graphics. The importance of studying not only the history, but also the theory of musical writing is noted by S.E. Englin [20]. Researcher E.V. Hertzman [4] focuses on the fact that any musical notation is always accompanied by seemingly "little things", but at the same time, the "living breath" of the musical system very often "depends on them, contributing to a more detailed transmission of the sounding music" [4, p.68]. As a monolithic formation of verbal and nonverbal (paragraph-based) means, i.e. creolized text, F.L. proposes to consider the works of print advertising.Kositskaya [12]. The analysis described in the above works is important for identifying functional approaches to creating a visual image and style of information and accompanying materials for a musical and artistic event, as well as determining the mechanism for applying them in practice to develop a communication strategy with the viewer.

The musical image is perceived, as a rule, through the performer. It cannot be perceived as works of visual art of painting, graphics, photography or sculpture created directly by the sculptor or artist himself. When developing a visual image of a musical event, the designer acts as a kind of interpreter of sound material. In creating a visual image of a sound work, the designer uses a similar set of graphic means, as does the composer, who fixes the content of a musical work by means of graphic signs and images. Depending on his artistic, professional and life experience, the designer, on the one hand, deciphers the image of a sound or musical work, on the other hand, creates it again, each time developing a new mechanism for combining graphic images, often combining elements of different semiotic systems, such as letters and musical notation. If a musical image is an integral semantic system of intonations, then a visual image is a system of graphic signs, the emotional mood and content of which is also read by the viewer and depends on his experience and visual preparedness.

Modern multimedia technologies allow combining into a single composition not only elements of different semiotic systems, but also expressive means of different types of art. The way the possibilities of animation of graphic forms and lines change the perception of the boundaries of the compositional space, liberate the designer's thinking, expand the palette of professional expressive means, visually represent the educational projects of students of the Department of Information Technology and Computer Design of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Arts. As examples posted on the web, you can cite the projects of motion designers. O. Boldina's graduation project is dedicated to the creation of multimedia content for the exhibition "Avant-Garde in Dynamics". In particular, she presented a fragment of a multimedia exhibition dedicated to V. Kandinsky's painting "Various Incidents"" [2]. The diploma project created by V. Semina presents the "Multimedia exhibition "Kandinsky, Lentulov, Malevich"" [18]. The creation of visual and sound synthesis, the finding of interesting constructive solutions for combining elements and parts of a composite form was facilitated by the study of compositional principles of styles and directions in the educational process, not only of visual arts, but also of music. Musical or sound accompaniment, perceived together with a visual composition developing over time, contributes to the emotional "experience" of what is seen and, therefore, receives great importance in the information-figurative structure of a multimedia work.

At the same time, design students specializing in graphic design, in the process of creating and developing printed products for a musical and artistic event, in most cases prefer to rely on the familiar rules of the Swiss international style, in which the method of sheet organization, the method of subordination of elements and the creation of compositional contrast are determined by geometric simplicity and order.

At the same time, when developing both a dynamically developing and static composition, the designer can consciously start from a musical or sound image in order to solve problems related to the transmission of vivid sensations and experiences from closely related aspects of perception. Today, a purposeful analysis of musical material in the development of a project related to a musical theme should form the basis of the path to improving the emotional and analytical approach in the search for new compositional solutions.

Modern social media platforms and Internet services allow you to view a large number of works by modern designers created for musical and artistic events. Among such resources are the platforms B?hance and Pinterest, the website of the Awwwards professional web designers competition, as well as the Flickr photo hosting. The content of this study is an analysis of the projects of modern designers presented on these platforms and dedicated to the development of corporate identity and information support for various cultural events related to music. The works of such authors as Duan Zhihua [25] and Roc?o Galarza [22] were selected for analysis in order to show by their example innovation in the interpretation of forms when creating a free composition dedicated to a musical theme.

In 2016, a graphic designer from Shanghai Duan Zhihua presented a series of posters dedicated to the musical "Notre Dame de Paris" at the Moscow Festival of Graphic Design "Golden Bee". The visual images created by him resemble graphic notation (graphic notation or graphic score in English), representing music using symbols that go beyond the traditional musical notation (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. A series of image posters on the theme of the musical "Notre Dame de Paris", 2016

Designer: Duan Zhihua (DuanZhihua)

Duan's work is a continuation of a new approach to creating a visual image of the sound space and graphic recording of musical text, which gained popularity in the 1950s, which since that time has been used by composers both in combination with traditional musical notation and instead of it. A striking example of such a photograph is the score of Fontana Mix, a musical composition created by John Cage (Fig. 2) [9, C. 57], in which there is a random collision of unexpected sounds. Along with the music itself, Cage created a musical notation using 10 sheets of paper and 12 transparencies, which, when applied, created a structure from which it was possible to compose a performance score.

Fig. 2. Score: Fontana Mix, 1958

Composer: John Cage

No less interesting are the scores of Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, for example, "Multiple 1", 1969 [23], or etchings by the same composer, such as "Konstellationen", 1971 (Fig.3) [24], which are able to evoke the feeling of hearing music even when it does not sound.

Fig. 3. Etching "Constellations" ("Constellationen"), 1971

Graphics: R. Haubenstock-Ramati (R. Haubenstock-Ramati)

Duan Zhihua's series "Notre Dame de Paris" uses techniques of combining graphic elements that seem to convey the propagation of sound waves, similar in image to the musical notes of avant-garde composers. The designer has developed an abstract compositional space that changes from poster to poster depending on the musical event that is recorded in it, and the hero who lives and interacts with this spatial environment created for him.

In the musical, as in the novel by Victor Hugo, the arena of everyday passions is the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Zhihua uses hand-drawn images of its elements, such as a Gothic rose window, bells, an image of the portal of a Gothic cathedral, a prison lattice, as well as broken and wavy lines, fragments of text, and other abstract shapes and textures. He transforms the created space depending on the changes in the emotional state of the acting hero-character to the event that he is currently experiencing. A similar creative technique was once developed by M. Churlenis. In the article "Churlenis and the problem of art synthesis", researcher and critic V. Ivanov notes that "the fundamental novelty of the creative method of the Lithuanian artist is seen in the "pictorial processing of the elements of visual contemplation according to the principle borrowed from music"" [1].

Like melodies in a piece of music, a variety of graphic themes in Zhihua posters vary, develop, transform, collide intensely, intertwine with elements of related plot themes, different in depth plans. Just as through intonation music is able to reflect the dialectic of the material world external to the composer, Zhihua's choice of graphic elements, ways of processing them, the search for forms of their constructive interaction all solves the main task associated with the creation of an accurately found visual image as a reflection of sound.

In the modern world, having free access to the development of linear musical notation, few people think about "what a difficult and long path it was necessary to go through in order for the musical notation to enter professional use, which, despite all its shortcomings, could sufficiently fully (at least according to current ideas) reflect the sounding material. To understand at least partially the difficulties that arose, it is enough to imagine the difficulties of those who for the first time set themselves the task of capturing at least one sound in writing. After all, it could not even be drawn on writing material, since it is invisible" [4, p.69]. Now composers continue to actively develop modern forms of graphic musical notation, and designers, echoing them, are looking for their own visual means capable of conveying an image of the sound space that will be understandable to everyone. The viewer can often be deprived of direct auditory contact with the works included in the event or concert that inspired the designer to create an image visualization. Music is a living art, perceived emotionally. At the same time, the graphics are able to convey all the subtleties of vibration, the nature of intonation and timbre of sounds, creating a feeling in the viewer that he feels the sound space, hears every sound. "Notre Dame de Paris" by Duan Zhihua is a series of graphic works that can not only be read as a modern score, but also feel emotions, hear sound, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the events taking place.

Another example is the visual design, the corporate identity of the festival, developed by Roc?o Galarza from Buenos Aires, engaged in illustration and editorial design. Her work Limbo / Festival de Freak folk (Galarza R., 2013) is distinguished by the brightness and unrestrained energy of the created image, ease and at the same time clarity of systematization of information, clarity and memorability of the form of presentation of the material, variability, which cannot but cause a well-deserved emotional response from the viewer (Fig.4).

Fig.4. Advertising posters of the Freak folk festival / Limbo, 2013

Designer: Rocio Galarza (R. Galarza)

Freak folk is a musical genre that includes and combines many other genres. It is characterized by eclecticism, merging elements of the acoustic world with the electronic world and experimenting with unconventional instruments and very specific voices. Freak folk strives to experiment with sound effects, artistic playing of an erroneous hit in the sound tone, various mutations of sound and sound layers. From the name of the genre itself arises the concept of transformation, rethinking what is "traditional".

The image graphics created by Rocio Galarza for Limbo represent a lot of free variations with a combination of visual elements (fragments of portraits of performers, musical instruments, typewriter, chicken, diamond ornament, individual elements of numbers and letters, and many others), as well as font compositions with all kinds of "visual noise", "defects" of the image. The use of an effect imitating the result of the action of a strong wind contributed to the creation of a bright artistic image. The wind blew and set everything in motion, confused everything, even mixed up different typefaces, and not only on one canvas / sheet or spread, but often in one word.

At the Freak folk festival, as a rule, it is proposed to immerse yourself in a state of celebration, constant movement, experiments and vibrations, in the rhythm of dissonant harmonies and powerful voices. The technical expressive means of design and construction of all visual components of a specific creolized text, successfully chosen by Rocio Galarza, contributed to the creation of an accurate interpretation and transmission of the meaning of the upcoming event at that time a bright Limbo. The text of Limbo visual design, in addition to images and font, determined the choice of typography style, color, composition, modular grid, and text layout. All the elements are arranged in such a way that they direct the movement of the viewer's gaze, determine the nature of this movement, create a rhythmic relief, a polyphony of intertwining information flows, lines, as in music or dance. It is known that it is also important for dancers to freely navigate in musical scores, in which they find support and inspiration for their new productions [5]. The designer, analyzing the graphic structuring, the placement of accents in the musical graphics, can see a lot in common with the art of typography and feel the sounding matter in a new way, find appropriate techniques that emphasize the expressiveness of the theme through rhythm and texture.

Another important basis of the graphic design design created by R. Galartsa is a modular grid, which is designed to promote a clear, precise organization of the composite material. Neither on the posters of the Limbo festival, with all the clarity of information and compositional accents, nor on other media, tickets, a booklet with the program, this internal frame, being visibly present, is not perceived as intrusive and does not deprive the project of brightness, color and individuality. He, like a compositional scheme in music, on the one hand helps Rocio Galarza to organize all the material, on the other does not restrain emotionality, energy and a riot of colors (Fig.5).

Fig. 5. Booklet program of the Freak folk Festival / Limbo, 2013

Designer: Rocio Galarza (R. Galarza)

Visual images, artistically meaningful and developed by designers, in particular, created in the projects by Duan Zhihua and Rocio Galarza, reflecting generally understandable and meaningful phenomena of reality for a person by professional specific means, may not always have the only possible interpretation, since they interact with the unique experience of the recipient. However, it is impossible not to note that a distinctive feature of their projects is the easily readable semantic connection of the created elements of artistic expression used in the composition with a broad socio-cultural context.

The design method of thinking is universal and consists in the search for meaningful, original, witty aesthetic and technological solutions, various projects, including multimedia. In order to comprehend the visual solution of the sound image of a musical and artistic event, the article conducted a detailed analysis with an analytical description of design projects based on the synthesis of iconographic and semantic analysis of the implementation of the design idea.

As a result, in conclusion of the article, the following conclusions can be drawn:

First of all: since the musical image is perceived, as a rule, through the performer, the specifics of creating its visual equivalent naturally presupposes its interpretation by the designer.

Secondly: the peculiarity of creating a visual image of a musical and artistic event is connected with the possibility of combining in one semiotic system of pictorial motifs, abstract forms, textures, font and text blocks, graphic designations of numbers and musical notation - all the elements by which a creolized text is created. Such a text should be considered as a communicative system having a special, synthesized effect on the viewer, whose technical expressive means of design contribute to improving the quality of the effectiveness of perception and the depth of interpretation of the image and content.

Thirdly, the study of the structural interaction of all elements of the composition of a creolized text informing about a musical and artistic event is facilitated by drawing analogies between the new graphic recording of musical text that became popular in the 1950s and modern typography. The mechanism of creating such a creolized text carrying information about musical or sound content, considered by the example of the works of Duan Zhihua and Rocio Galarza, can be successfully used in research, educational and directly in the design activities of the designer.

Fourth: a comprehensive analysis of the projects of modern designers posted on the Internet confirms that in a visual image that carries information about a musical and artistic event, visual and sound contexts form a structural unity, becoming a unique subject for study, contributing to the development and improvement of design methods in design.

Fifth: it is noted that modern projects, in particular, the works of Duan Zhihua and Rocio Galarza, in which there is a desire for free, innovative compositional forms, post-constructivist solutions, are distinguished by the presence of an easily readable semantic connection of elements of artistic expression with a broad socio-cultural context.

The specifics of developing the visual design of multimedia or printed products of a musical and artistic event require different ways of searching and different methods of creating visualization, which in themselves can become innovative in each project. An analytical approach to the study of sound / musical material is indispensable when designers develop communication strategies with the viewer, for whom information and advertising materials about a musical and artistic event are created.

Prospects for further research of the problem lie in a more detailed study of the process of creating an image of an aesthetically and artistically significant text. To date, they are closely related to the development of new technologies, with the public's request for the development of new multimedia products, in which a clear algorithm for switching attention from one type of information to another is seen, contributing to the coverage of the entire form of submission of materials as a whole.