Archives for the Month of July, 2006

Human Robots & Space-Filling Emotions

space-fill surface art
Invader Fractal- Jared Tarbell

David Szafranski makes paintings of a procedural nature recalling the textures and patterns of nature, more specifically cell biology and the rhizomatic mappings of plant growth. The painting Human_robot, for example, has a kind of root system with space-filling properties and the title implies the kind of robotic repetitive action which would be required to make such a work. It’s the human equivalent of a Diffusion Aggregation Limitation system – whereby particles in solution diffuse randomly until they move near to a piece of solid structure, at which point they come out of solution and form part of the aggregate resulting in dendritic structures. All of the works have a similar quality and evoke the idea of the human-computer in repetitive sub-routines crystallizing the work into existence.

Kuja rightly points out the connection between Captain_Freedom and the cellular oscillations of Eden, a large-scale installation piece by John McCormack dealing with a computational ecology currently on view at Art.ficial 3.0 (See previous post).

Messenger sees the human computer map out the surface of a cell-colony with degrees of order and randomness.

All of the works display space-filling properties -a side effect of the adventures of growth in natural systems. There are a whole family of space-filling curves in Math, including the Dragon and Hilbert Curve’s both of which are derived from L-system expansion. Compare again Szafranski’s Captain_Freedom and iterations of the Dragon curve to see the computed connectedness.

Space-fill is literally taken to another dimension with Daniel Erdely’s Spidron System, where alternating sequences of isosceles triangles applied to polyhedra in a particular folded arrangement exhibit specific spatial properties – an exotic 3d space-fill.

The Emotion Fractal is a recursive space filling algorithm using English words describing the human condition.’ Jared Tarbell’s piece nicely combines an element of narrative using a predefined set of English words with a recursive sub-divisioning process, and as he say’s ‘Continual variations on this theme took me to some weird places’ as the ‘Emotion Fractal tells a winding tale of human experience personal to each observer’. See also his ‘Invader Fractal’.

Click here for another article on procedural/process art

Art.ficial Emotion

Neon Organic – Marius Watz

Back into the loop finally after a few weeks in wonderful São Paulo, Brazil. I’ve had an excellent time with the curators and production crew of Art.ficial 3.0 as well as many artists who took part in the show together with the speakers involved in the connected symposium.

I’ve finally relented and opened a flickr account and my first batch of photos of the show is up for viewing. The ever-industrious Marius Watz has of course already done the same with this great set.

The exhibition brought together an exciting group of works with impressive variety that all explored in some way elements of cybernetics, interaction and interface. Many of the works could be seen classic’s in the field, take Golan Levin’s and Zachary Liebermans installation version of ‘Messe de Voce’ for example where speech, shouts and songs produced by participants of the work are augmented in real-time by custom interactive visualization software.

Alongside the exhibition ran a symposium of talks by international guests (artists & scientists) on such topics as interface science, cybernetics and computational art and their inter-relationships. Specific information can be found here.

It is of course worth noting the theme of art & cybernetics has fertile history. In 1968 Jasia Reichardt, Assistant Director of the ICA, curated the now seminal show of tech/computer art, Cybernetic Serendipity. Jaisa was invited to talk at the symposium giving a compelling account of history of computer/machine art and some great insider info on the Cybernetic Serendipity show itself.

I was fortunate enough to travel back to London with Jaisa and Otto Rössler (who gave a talk on Endophysics) and so took the opportunity to interrogate them for some more details bout their work.

My piece for the show, Talysis 2, utilises video feedback as a generative principle. The recursive properties of video feedback allow for complex symmetrical geometric forms to evolve in real-time as the system interfaces with itself – The software used was the excellent VVVV. I will post more documentation on this piece sometime in the near future.

São Paulo from above and below

Ṣo Paulo is a fantastic city with a special thing going on Рa mega-city rated among the largest few on the planet. From 20 floors up its possible to view its amazing expanse in every direction Рa crystalline sprawl of hi-rise buildings throw up an endless carpet of fascinating geometries.

Thanks to the Itua Crew – Marcos, Kuja, Sofia, Guilherme, Ricardo, Vini, and Marcel for making my time in Brazil such a great and memorable one!

Dataisnature transmissions will now resume their normal frequency.

DataVapour 04-07-06

Pixel Maelstrom – Philip Stearns

The TI99 is a “vintage” home computer system from 1981 made by Texas Instruments. Philip Stearns has been bending its circuits to make a real-time audio responsive glitch machine – the Pixel Maelstrom. Maybe you want to try? Check out this page for advice on how to start circuit bending with toy musical instruments using bluetack!

Over at the always inspiring Bldgblog we hear of the Earth-Surface-Machine, ‘an interactive geotextile that could be used for reinforcing landscapes and buildings of the future’.

Obselete presents 120 years of Electronic Musical Instruments. Who wouln’t enjoy curiosities such as the Optophonic Piano ? – a device that generated sounds and projected revolving patterns onto a wall by directing a bright light through a series revolving painted glass, filters, mirrors and lenses.

Marius leads us to the work of Simon Elvins and his exploration into sound, print and notation. Then rebounds with a link to some exquisite musical notation presented at Biblioodyssey. Dataisnature has touched on this theme before in a little less detail.

Sanch, the chief experimenter at Meso now has a blog documenting the fantastic forms he creates using VVVV! (see previous posts on the Superformula).

Splitscreen is a blog dedicated to split, composite and multi-screen visuals.