Kubikino is a project by artist Carolina Melis, with the support of creative coder Enrico Penzo. The work is informed by notions of choreography, modular pattern composition and character design.
Kubikino is an idiosyncratic face, made of a combination of graphical elements and colours generated by code. Using an essential library of geometries – all deriving from the circle – and primary tones, the code randomly creates new faces resembling human physiognomy, animals and traditional masks.
Through the deliberate reference to a face, Kubikino prompts contemplation on the traditional notions of identity, similarity, and persona, as well as the ongoing need to establish one’s own representation within a community – from traditional masks to digital avatars. For centuries, human identity has been a source of cultural fascination, with the word “identity” stemming from the Latin term “identitas,” signifying both “sameness” and “oneness.”
Inspired by Bruno Munari’s “Faces,” a collection of abstract portraits created using basic geometric shapes and lines, Kubikino reflects on the simplicity, playfulness, and power of design to communicate across cultures and generations.
Drawing upon the influential dance theories of Rudolf Laban and Merce Cunningham, Kubikino’s device process for the creation of its faces is underpinned by a sophisticated framework of modular pattern composition. The project’s generated output is organised into a grid-based structure, where each section corresponds to a phrase, and the relationship between the various sections collectively generates the final composition. Referencing Laban’s Movement Analysis, each section is paraphrasing LMA’s four key components: body (loop), shape (direction), dynamic (colour), space (relationship within the space).
Kubikino also adopts the principles of “chance” and “structured improvisation” articulated by avant-garde pioneers John Cage and Merce Cunningham in the 1960s. The Kubikino identity is constructed from a selected array of animated graphics, rules, and paradigms that correspond to motifs, scores, and ensembles found in conventional art forms such as dance, music, and paintings.