Wassily Kandinsky’s 1932 painting Decisive Pink, like much of the early abstract painter’s work, is fun to look at. The titular pink rectangle on the left contrasts with a bright yellow background, and is covered in mysterious squiggly lines, some resembling stick figures, envelopes or sailboats. Now, Carnegie Mellon students Nivetha Kannan and Sarah Kwan bring this painting to life with an interactive game called Animated Kandinsky.
In the game, nearly every element of the painting is interactive, and will behave strangely and hilariously when clicked or dragged. Adding to the effect is the fact that each visual element is also paired with sound: one line might becomes a face that sneezes, while another series of lines turn into a trumpet that plays a brief jazz tune. But while this gives players a sense of Kandinsky’s compositional genius, don’t mistake the new configurations you’re able to produce as fine art. Instead of trying to appreciate some inert lines drawn 70 years before you were born, Animated Kandinsky allows you to imagine whatever inspires you in the work, and suggests that possibility with any other art piece.