The Golden Ratio in Time-based Media


  • Emily Verba 4222 Dane Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45223



golden ratio, geometry, perception, image proliferation, motion, time, rhythm, iconic research, patience


Measure and proportion manifest themselves in all areas of beauty and virtue.



Mathematics and visual communication share a long historical, symbiotic relationship. In their pursuit of achieving order and beauty, they find common ground through geometry. The golden ratio is a mathematic and aesthetic phenomenon inherent in nature that has consistently evoked sensory enjoyment since antiquity. It may be assumed that the manifestation of the golden ratio in nature accounts for human’s innate enjoyment of it. Throughout the ages, the conscious application of the golden ratio to proportions found in art, architecture, poetry, literature and musical composition has consistently evoked subconscious sensory pleasure. However, the application of the golden ratio to visual temporal proportion, or time-based media, has seldom been investigated. This thesis investigates various applications of the golden ratio as a mathematical framework for choreographing visually harmonious temporal compositions through time-based media.


The proliferation of moving images we face on a daily basis is cause for great concern, as we have increasingly less free time in our days. Informative and pleasing images are buried in an avalanche of visual rubbish, constantly streaming into our physical and virtual worlds. Time-based media has the ability to expand and contract movement, thus directing the way viewers experience and spend their time. This investigation presupposes that editing moving images via increments of time determined by the golden ratio may streamline messages, isolating what is most symbolic and effectively communicative within a mathematical framework. A physiological and psychological benefit is created for viewers; there is no wasted time or space.

Image-makers and visual communicators have a responsibility to create only that which is useful and/or aesthetically pleasing. An investigation into the temporal structure of time-based media, using mathematical algorithms derived from the golden ratio, has led to the aim of creating through it a viable solution for the implementation of visual communication messages in today's society.





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