WHChaikumultimedia                                                                                                      exercise #6
  8/04                                                                                                                                    comments

                                                  Team Renga Comments
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I'd like to thank everyone who participated in our Renga exercise...an exciting departure
and quite a challenge.
Each artist on a team was to create an original work from a previous image by embracing it,
being inspired by it and by "quoting" from or adding directly to it in a "round robin."  I was amazed
at the exceptional artistic Renga that was created in this exercise.

I think you'll agree, collaboration does not dilute the uniqueness of a work but adds to it
as we have the pleasure of using others ideas, and also the pleasure of our ideas being used by others.
The interaction of the teams was great...and as you will see there are many lessons to be learned
from this Renga project.

A special thanks to Norman for Flashing each team's work and adding yet another dimension
to our new art form. It's quite a treat!

Please everyone, comment on each team's work and analyze how you think people conceived of links,
and what themes you see emerged in each Renga. Perhaps you will see clearly what the motivation
and inspiration was and if there was a good interaction between the team. At this stage of our expertise,
learning how to pass around and link images was a huge undertaking.

There is no right or wrong if the instructions were followed. Creative juices certainly flowed and I hope
all our members will comment, whether they were able to participate or not...that's the beauty of this list,
we can feel free to share a bit of ourselves.

Enjoy the show!  
multimedia. Team Art Renga exercise 6



Team 1:  ashe and Jerry

This one is visually beautiful, with a soft aqua palette that was
established by the motif in the seed image. Its slow transition of
composition and the gradual fadeout of the water main across the first
five images reads well visually in all formats: thumbnails, slide show
and flash. 

Despite its tranquil beauty of form, the renga has what I see as a
rather dark theme. At the beginning we see a water main, something that
has been the sign of an orderly, civilized society since the Romans
built their aquaducts.  In the next image, however, flood waters are
rising. One of the inhabitants attempts to make the best of things by
going fishing, the landscape  reverts to wetlands and eventually to
inundation by rising sea levels.  A cat briefly takes refuge on top of
a piece of house but drowns as that too goes under. 

In Norman's flash version, the climax of the renga is the transition
between images 4 and 5, which brings the cat and the tropical fish face
to face before the cat goes under and the fish emerges in triumph to
dominate the rest of the renga. Will humans survive in this new
waterworld of global warming? Well, the bobber is still there, so maybe
the guy is still fishing, but maybe also it was just made of a plastic
that doesn't biodegrade. 

Team 2: Mary Angela, Darrell and Linda

Although our seed image was the same, our team developed a totally
different theme from it. Karina has called the differences between our
approaches collage as opposed to shift link.  Our theme was almost
inevitable from the moment that Darrell led off by juxtaposing the
water main seed image with a cactus landscape, which I thought was a
very fitting statement coming from a part of California that is
especially known for the politics of bringing water in. 

For the closing image, Mary Angela tried out a variety of
photocollages, for instance using my flower vase as a ceiling fresco in
a barrell vaulted room or on the painted dado of a chapel.  She settled
on putting it into an image taken by the Hubble telescope, "since it
incorporates all the others and finalizes it as a view from the
outside: water! a necessaty of life or extinction" (I'm quoting her
here--and I hope you get a chance to see some of the alternates in her
own haiga).

Our group didn't quite pay enough attention to Carol's rule about image
sizes, so it doesn't work very well in Norman's flash adaptation.
However, it occurred to me while watching the flash is that ours is
essentially intellectual in its approach to the images, so I'm not sure
that even with sizes adjusted that the fading transitions in Flash are
going to be as effective as they are in some of the other renga.  Ours
would do best in a setting like those Cambrian game renga, where
varying formats are permitted and the images are displayed as a web.
That would have meant pushing the renga much further than the six image
limit we set for this exercise.

Team 3: Norman, Louise and Carol

This is another one where the continuance of image from one frame to
the next produced some great effects in the Flash animation, in this
case the raucus seagulls gradually ceding the stage to some
delightfully insouciant daisies. It looks to me like Louise used some
of Norman's #2 image in her #3, but also went back to the seed image to
pick up a few seagulls in focus, and the blend works nicely.  

Here again it's interesting to see what effect the Flash transitions
have on the way you see and read the renga.  The cat fixated on that
gull in the lower right makes for a great first climax to the
'narrative' development before the flowers take over the composition.
The campanile with the flower pink sky looks a bit like an interruption
of the seagull/flower theme in the thumbnails, but in Flash it serves
as a sudden crescendo that floods pink all over the place.  The
appearance of the balloon, and the gulls flying off to the moon in it,
is a truly delightful ending.  Reminds me of Babar in the balloon...

Team 4: Karina, Carole and Lary

This one is a visual delight. Who would have thought that the seed
image of a daisy being visited by a bee would provoke those first two
images--Rene Magritte through the eyes of Edward Gorey? Through the
rest of the renga, the persistence of the black and white tonalities
established by the first two images provides a sense of unity that
really sets off the next four images with their isolated accentuated

What interests me about this renga is that it is equally strong but
also quite different whether the images are read through the
thumbnails or through the Flash compilation.  Considered one by one
they're all quite strong and individual, but in Flash a number of
overriding patterns emerge that ties them to a whole.  In this case the
seed image was only a point of departure, the daisy appearing in the
cartoon horse of frame #2 but  is not prominent thereafter, unless its
composite flower head is what's in the center of that 'burning bush' in
the octopus' garden (image #3, which turns into a swan's wing in image

What really gives the renga its flavor, though, are the musical notes
that first appear in image 2 and continue throughout, also the raven
and the swan that appear in the early and later sections of the renga
and establish a contrapuntal relationship between black/white and
brilliant color. The door/window motif from the barn is also important
because it establishes an appearing/disappearing pattern of brightly
lit spots along the axis and anchors the flash transitions through the
first three somewhat dark images before the brilliant color of the swan
image emerges.

Finally, in this renga the way that Norman arranged the transitions is
more apparent that it was in the others. he flash animation isn't a
sim;ple fade from one image to the next; the first image persists--the
barn, for instance, is only really gone when the image #3 firmly
establishes itself.   Perhaps its more noticeable here because of the
high value contrasts in this renga, but it works really well and I
think enhances the musical nature of the renga.

Team 5: Mike, Gillena and Kilmeny

This one is at its best in the flash animation, and I kept coming back
to look at it again and again.  It starts out slowly with the first
daisy grayscaled, then a bright yellow mask with a sun face overlaid on
the grayscale.   The effect in animation is the color seems to retract
and then explode.  The  opening sequence resolves itself with the
emergence of a mandala in frame 3.

The mandala image is spectacular even by itself, but what makes it
visually even more satisfying in the flash is that the daisy images in
the previsous images were off center (seed and grayscale daisies off
axis to the right, sun face to the upper left).  This gave a certain
instability to the visual effect in those first frames, but with the
mandala the renga 'finds its center'.  The daisies have become small
motifs circling the perimeter, and at this point the renga really takes

The next sequence is my favorite part.  The pale, ethereal mandala
becomes overwhelmed by a burst of bright yellow with a hot molten
figural form in the center, but the chaos is quickly brought under
control as it is snatched, clipped and stitched into quilt of soft
tonal blues and plant motifs. Those unseen woman's hand have tucked it
into a spot off the left axis, so the transition effect is truly
wonderful as its earlier wild self fades away into the blue.

My iBook's version of the IE browser only displays 5 thumbnails on any
of Carol's pages, so until I played the flash I didn't realize that the
last image of this renga was there and had an erroneous idea that the
last image was Gillena's stitchhaiga.  I'd quite gotten used to this,
but then realized that there in the true ending, the molten motifs have
become starfish and there's a recumbant mermaid gazing up from the
depths at the seed image daizy, now bobbing on the water surface. 

In the flash, the mermaid appears first as a pair of eyes gazing up at
the motif in the stitchhaiga, and at the conclusion of the renga
therefore she has made it into something of her own. The development of
that motif, then goes from molten hot yellow in image 4 to a cold,
watery blue in image 6.  It echoes in reverse the color progression of
the opening sequence of images and closes the renga very nicely.

I know that there was a guy on the team, but for me there was a 
feminist theme in this renga which I enjoyed very much. Won't say more
about it because I'd have to lapse into a lot of academic art
historical jargon, but this does make a perfect segue into the
last-but-not-least renga, DeGuys...

Team 6: soji, Jim and Ron

The view from the other half of the species. They've said they named
themselves in honor of Degas but to me it looks more Ingres combined
with Silence of the Lambs and Lord knows what else.  Back when all of
us teams were choosing seed images I was struck mainly by the orange
color of the flower and I didn't notice the sexual imagery that I now
see is so obviously there (think Georgia O'Keefe and Judy Chicago).
DeGuys was the only team to pick this seed image, but it was a choice
with spectacular results. 

Right from the start the images are original and strong.  Image 1
reduces the flower and turns it into a colorful tutu, but if you check
back to the seed image you realize that image 1 consists of three
overlapping layers of feminine private parts. In image 2 the flower and
the reclining nude have been recomposed into a dreamy image of ecstacy
and colorized to a complementary blue.  The Tarzan-style arrival of the
Tasmanian Devil is impeccably timed, closing the first phase of the
renga and shifting its whole tenor.  In the Flash version, Tas makes an
especially effective transition since he overlaps a large expanse of
image 2's blue background, and the darker colors of image 3 quickly
push to the foreground as image 2 fades.

What really What distinguishes the renga is how divergent the renga is
viewed through the thumbnails or through Flash. Consider this:  Tas is
followed by a kaleidoscope-reflective image of a sports car that looks
in places like it's been shrink-wrapped with a plastic filter.  In turn
the car flattens out and becomes space-borne like the de Lorean in Back
to the Future.  The glowing edges horizon looks like special-effects
graphics from Start Trek. A beautiful image in the best traditions of
Space Art.  But when you look at this section of the renga the flash,
what dominates is the transition between scenes 4 and 5, and put
together they turn into an image of penetration.

Well, after that, everything became Freudian and I started seeing female
genitalia everywhere in the renga.  The last scene with all the
bubbles--sorry, guys--just makes me think of that final sketch in Woody
Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex--you know, the
scene with Burt Reynolds...

Well done.  Still laughing.  A great end to the exercise

Linda Papanicolaou ~~


As far as Team #1 is concerned, ashe made the first
move, and set the tone. 
I thought the idea of staying generally within the
confines of the main theme was, perhaps,
a bit conservative compared to the others, but ,
personally, I loved the subtle, ethereal
effect we stayed with.I must say I appreciated working
with ashe on this project.
We had a bit of a glitch sending each other the
layered images, which became too large ultimately to
After trying several things, we began zipping the
images (I had never used zip files before and didn’t
even know I had a way to do it). In any event, we
solved the problem and ashe took matter in her hands
and finalized a wonderful renga. Norman’s flashing
just made it even better!

Team #2

Using the same seed as Team #1 they went in a
different direction, with an abrupt turn by Mary
At this point it became an abstract - a study,
perhaps, in opposites, the opulence of the gold
artifact against the sewer cover. I appreciated seeing
it develop further, making flowers out of the images,
the flower vase from the original seed image. Quite
innovative! Then another abrupt turn to a sort of
surreal universal summation. The more I looked at it,
the more I saw Buddha’s eye.
Personally, the abrupt change in direction  in the
middle was jarring to me, but this is, I guess, the
nature of a multi-artist endeavor, each artist wanting
to go in her/his own direction. Not a bad
thing…:>)Especially here.

Team #3

The journey from seagulls to balloons in the night was
fun. I enjoyed the various textures and media
techniques. A few abrupt changes in direction that I c
an see now is a common thread in these renga.
The final image again represented to me a universe
that we, as artists and writers are exploring to the
I’m beginning to see the individual styles come
through…a fingerprint of each artist. That’s a good

Team #4

This renga immediately began an exciting journey into
a Dali-like world of images. By now I’m getting used
to these 90 degree turns and must say, the abruptness
I mentioned in Team #2 renga  is mild compared to what
I’m seeing now! The innovation and bold, bright colors
in this renga are very effective, the juxtaposition of
images and subject matter, held my interest.  The
final frame was, again, universalistic, a final
splash, perhaps the big bang in a different parallel

Team #5

Off to a slow paced, deliberate beginning, then wham!
Beautiful textures, shades of Maxwell Parrish sniffing
glue! An explosion followed by Gillena’s wonderous
stitchery ….and then, the finale!
Chalgal has entered the building!  A fine blending of
art and artists…!

Team #6

Having lots of fun, deguys, took lots of jabs at the
world as we see it.  A kind of  Magritte meets Disney!
Lots and lots of twists and turns in this renga.
Reminded me of airbrush paintings I’ve seen in modern
galleries…. then the final image, again a universe of
sorts, complete with a tiny  Jiminy Cricket (or is
THAT what Buddha looks like!)

A great experience, a great experiment…with great
results! Thanks to  everyone for being a part of this


Jerry Dreesen ~~


Well, this was certainly a challenge - and I doubt anyone will disagree with that assessment! 

I really hope Carol and Linda allow us to build on this with another exercise soon, as in a sense,
that felt like a warm-up. I'm sure I wasn't alone in feeling insecure about whether I was letting the
team down, but I think all of us acquitted ourselves well, and emerged with renewed confidence.
It's normal there should be a few hiccups on this first exercise. I already am kicking myself for not
doing things differently in our renga. But how else can we learn?!

The way I did the flashing seems to work in this instance, and I'm quite pleased with the result.
There's been lots of positive feedback on that aspect - thank you - but does anyone have any misgivings?
Are there ways it might have been presented better? Honest opinions appreciated, as I'm real new to this.

A big appreciative hug to my team partners - Louise and Carol - for their support, their humour, 
and their ingenuity, and a big big thank-you to Carol and Linda for all their hard work. It's been a real
pleasure doing the exercise, and I'm very happy to have been able to contribute the animations as an
enhancement to the overall experience

This place, you people, great!

Norman Darlington ~~


Team 1.
I found this sequence more enjoyable to watch in the flash mode than
in "sequence" mode where I can look at two images in the sequence side
by side. I think that this is because in most of the transitions, at
least one element from a previous image remains untouched. So, during
the flash fade, there is a very strong connection to the previous
image as one part is maintained during the transition.

When looking at the sequence in the thumbnails, the effect of the
continuing item is not as strong. Keeping so much of the original seed
in the first 4 images also seemed to add to the connectivity. When
that was dropped in 5, I experimented with several reactions ( from
regret to relief - and in between ) :-)) and that added to the
interest in the change.

Team 2

This was an interesting sequence. I really liked the telescopic link
between several of the transitions - one image incorporporating a
smaller copy of the previous image and maybe that's why the simpler
addition of the flower to one image, seemed to stand out by contrast.
The theme? of expansion (or is it contraction) had a great end in the
nebula (was that the cat's eye nebula?) linking to earlier allusions
to eyes.

Team 3
I had to look hard at some of the transitions to get the intent and
I'm still not certain the 2-3 switch. Food seemed to be a theme, all
kinds of food, including the food of impressions for the senses. Rally
liked the ending.

Team 4
This was one of my favourites. So open, with room for personal
interpretation and attempts at working out the technique. So rich in
fantasy and allusion.

Team 5
I think that I preferred looking though this sequence slide by slide
rather than using the flash. The early transitions were relatively
simple comrpared to later ones  - I am still thinking about the 3-4
transition. But these are also rich images and give much food for
thought.  As far as theme goes, I think I could go in a number of
different directions and pull out a variety of themes.

Team 6

More of a commentary.  I would give too much away if I tried to
describe my reactions when I got the first image, but I had to make
some choices of direction and the one that came up was quite different
from where I normally go!!

Having all of soji's layers to work with gave a lot of flexibility. I
did not consciously work within or towards a theme, the only "rule"
was that each image contained something of the previous image. soji
mentioned a dream background, so that was a very "open" rule. The
thought behind 6-2 was "becoming" or "emerging" within a dreamlike
state. Other than that I just tried to make somethihg that was
visually interesting.

With 6-5 I tried to put the "filtered" car (wave and glass filters)
under the surface of body of water - rather fish-like. I had three
different photos of water that I tried, but settled on a neon-edged
version of a beach sunset scene, and the "fish" became some kind of
vehicle heading towards the sunset - the whole exercise for me had
become going in a totally new direction using very different images
from those I usually feel comfortable with. 

It was a lot of fun heading in a new direction in a strange vehicle.
Let's have more.

Jim Swift ~~


Team 1 - Ashe and Jerry ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, and
when viewed with flash, it comes so alive!
I love the way the water appears, then
the bobber and fish, then the heron's legs
and the cat...
The use of reflections is wonderful, and I
also noticed how this entry demonstrates that
hand-painted art can combine with digital
art and also with photos....

Retaining the seed image size makes a
difference, especially with the flash...
congratulations on a super entry!

Team 2....Darrell, Mary Angela, Linda

I like the desert scene contrasting with
the water, and how it's merged in image 2.
Then image three brings a new dimension into
play...I'm not quite sure what the object
represents -- I caught a glimpse of a
submarine from 20,000 Leagues Under the
Sea... :)
The transfer in image five to flowers-in-water
made me smile -- talk about a cool idea!
And the cosmic finale is simply gorgeous...

Team 3 ... Norman, Louise, Carol

This is another unforgettable journey!
The blend of earthiness in the gulls and the
hungry cat and the flowers....the spiritual
sense of the tolling bell, and the stretch
of flight again in the balloon -- marvellous!

Image six is another cosmic vision --
I think my browser is darker than some,
because I didn't catch the gulls in the
balloon baskets right away...what an
imaginative idea -- blows me away!

Team 5 ... Mike, Gillena, Kilmeny

I found this an interesting blend of different
creative styles...a delightful collaboration!

I checked, and learned that "stella maris"
means "star of the sea"....what a beautiful
finale!   :)

Team 6 ... soji, Jim, Ron

Lordy, lordy...what can one say about this
entry that is so unabashedly playful and
wonderfully artistic?
I can only grin -- and admire their skill
and audacity!

  Laryalee Fraser ~~


Renga Team 1, Ashe / Norman.

I liked the continuity and linkage in this
progression. Always something prominent carried
forward with something new added. The artfully done
angelfish in the final frame is quite different from
the seed photo, but the transition goes smoothly and

Renga Team 2, Darrell / Mary Angela / Linda.
Desert Rose.
We attempted to start off with very minor changes from
the seed photo, and progress to major changes in the
final frame. Hope you enjoyed.

Renga Team 3
, Norman / Louise/ Carol.
Renga Wranglers.
Again, a nice flowing transition to something quite
different from the beginning. The gulls,are still
there, but in a completely new and beautiful setting.
Nice work .

Renga Team 4, Karina /Carole / Laryalee.
The LadyBugs.
I really enjoyed the gorgeous artwork here, I felt the
changes to the seed photo were perhaps too dramatic
for a smooth frame progression. Lovely viewing though.
Excellent work

Renga Team 5,. Mike, Gellina, Kilmeny.
I found this progression brilliant, but eerie in the
final frame. It has metamorphosed into an ocean theme,
with the flower coming back into prominence. Very
interesting concept.

Renga Team 6, soji / Jim / Ron.
Very captivating photo-digital work. I love all these
images. I get lost in trying to link the final three
frames, but artwork is so vivid, I don't need a solid
link to enjoy this. Great work, guys.

Darrell Byrd ~~


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