Ian Clemmer | Superflow

Ian Clemmer

Superflow – Viusic Piece 06 – Architecture

02.11 – 17.11

Screenings at
the hour
during the exhibition


SEA Foundation
in collaboration with
Playgrounds Festival 2013

Studio encounters


The theory of Superflow

After exploring photography and digital art Ian Clemmer became interested in design and visual arts. When studying Design and Computer at the Fachhochschule Darmstadt in 2006 and discovered the powers of 3D visualization. In 2010 he graduated and wrote his thesis on the theory of ‘Superflow’. This audio-visual journey into the world of digital harmony is a creation of unique geometric design which he studied in detail and made visible in motion.

Visual harmony and viusic

Superflow is an algorithm for visual harmony and viusic (visual music), that can be used in 3d programs like 3ds Max, blender oder cinema4d and was discovered and developed by Ian Clemmer. In a way the results of superflow look like the cymatic structures that you would get from soundwaves influencing little particles, e.g. the so called Chladni patterns, that have been discovered by german musician and scientist Ernst Chladni and described in his book „Theorie des Klangs“ (theory of sound) in 1787. The superflow algorithm can be applied to 3d objects like circles, triangles, squares, stars and others. When combining a mass of these structures visual beauty happens.

Digital harmony

Inspired by the ongoing search of John Whitney to find harmony in visual art, Ian Clemmer continues his quest by introducing new perspectives to this exciting and forgotten field. Ian Clemmer introduces his discovery “Superflow”, a new formula “Polarflow”, and the foundation for the visual equivalent of music, “Viusic”. Combining these in a digital environment allow us to create digital harmony, a topic first discussed by John Whitney. If there is harmony in music, why not in visual art?


Superflow was a discovery Ian Clemmer made on October 30th 2009. It is a technique which changes the relationship of objects and the space between them. Superflow served as the foundation for a new type of particle software, which combines Superflow transformation with mathematical formulas such as the Superformula (discovered by Johan Gielis in 1997). In the development process he created the Polarflow Formula, a new type of formula which combines and further extends the RDTD framework laid by Whitney and the Superformula by Gielis. Polarflow Fundamentals is the foundation and combination of these formulas, and can help us understand the long journey that the theorem of pythagoras has taken. By combining mathematical formulas the possibilities with Superflow have become endless. The aim of this thesis was to start understanding the nature of Superflow, its connection to math and natural patterns, to develop a particle software which makes advanced use of Superflow and the Superformula, and to build a foundation of musical theory which can be applied to visual art. Music is to sound what Viusic is to light. The short animations produced for the thesis offer only a tiny glimpse into the Superflow Universe, and how it can be used to create Viusic.



The screening of Superflow is related to an exhibition
by Ian Clemmer & Martin Stebbing, Superflow. Click to read more
Website Playgrounds Festival