Archives for the Month of May, 2007

Rosemarie Fiore – Scrambler & Firework Drawings.

The Good-Time Mix Machine: Scrambler Drawing – Rosemarie Fiore

Rosemarie Fiore utilises common appliances and machinery, including amusement part rides, to facilitate her mark making explorations. The Good-Time Mix Machine: Scrambler Drawings appear as gigantic mandalic spirograph patterns (technically Hypocycloids), incredibly up to 60x60ft in size!

‘I connected a gas generator and air compressor to buckets of paint and secured them into the seats of a Scrambler amusement park ride. Once the ride was in motion, paint sprayed out of the benches onto vinyl tarps placed underneath. The result is a series of enormous hypocycloid designs which recorded the hidden patterns created by the ride as it turned’

Continuing a process based path her firework drawings appear as Rayogrammic chromatography experiments with subtle overlapping colour arrangements. This time she uses the after burn of live fireworks’ exploding to create saturated abstract compositions! Who could resist ‘lit fireworks on paper, collage’ as a media description?

More on the Hypocycloids & other Spirographic drawing machines
More Drawings of Harmonic Motion

Early Cybernetic Sculptures (talk @ Kinetica Museum)

The Senster, circa 1970 – Edward Ihnatowicz

A bit late notice, but for Londoners, if you have no other prior engagements tonight – a note for an interesting talk occurring at the Kinetica Museum this evening, 23 May 2007.

The Senster and SAM (Sound Activated Mobile)

Alex Zivanovic will talk about the work of the late Edward Ihnatowicz, a pioneer of interactive kinetic art. In particular, he will concentrate on SAM, a sculpture exhibited at the Cybernetic Serendipity exhibition in 1968, and the Senster, exhibited in the Evoluon in Eindhoven from 1970 to 1974. Both sculptures moved recognisably in response to the sound and motion of the people around them, giving the impression of being alive. The talk will explain how this was achieved and what we can learn from these groundbreaking works. In particular, Alex will talk about how natural, elegant motion can be achieved.’

It just a shame we can’t still see these ground breaking mechanical entities in action. I couldn’t escape this page without feeling some strange emotion. The Senster, paralysed and frozen, like dinosaur bones in a museum, and lost in time.

Microchic: Cara McCarthy’s Diagramming Microchips & Theo Kamacke’s PCB Hieroglyphics

Diagramming Microchips
Eprom Intel Corp 1974 from Diagramming Microchips by Cara McCarthy

The out of print ‘Diagramming Microchips’ by Cara McCarthy contains high quality full page spreads of orthogonal microchip arcologies and micro-labyrinthine PCB networks.

The mandalic attitude of this neural net chip with its conspiratorial eye in the triangle, IBMs OP-art (Dram)mifiactions. And the Universal Turing Machine posturing of this Intel EPROM.

Theo Kamacke harnesses the hieroglyphic nature of legacy printed circuit boards to make intricate peices that imply the craftsmanship of artwork made millenniums ago.

Theo Kamecke
Norse (detail) – Theo Kamecke

‘He saw in the graphic patterns of electronic circuitry with their endless variety the same beauty we perceive in seashells, in crystals, in the grain of wood or even in the tree itself. All these are, after all, forms derived from function, so if we find beauty in them it is not because they were designed to please the eye.’

Other artists, mentioned at Dataisnature before, employing the circuit board aesthetic are Mark Wilson, particularly his paintings and drawings, & Jock Coopers fractal circuitscape elevations, perhaps conjectural plans for a future city. Polyforms and Conduits featured Peter Halley’s cell network paintings, the same post also pointed to Brianelectro’s glitchboards.

Mitchell Whitelaw: Metacreation & The Teeming Void

Weather Bracelet – Mitchell Whitelaw

Mitchell Whitelaw is a writer and artist specializing in the field of complex generative systems, data aesthetics and A-life Art. His blog, The Teeming Void contains some excellent articles, often scraping below the surface of the generative/emergent aesthetic to reveal a detailed and coherent philosophical stance. Metacreation: Art and Artificial life, his book on the subject of A-life Art, published in 2004, is a detailed critical analysis of the first wave of artists utilizing emergent systems. From the MIT page:

‘Whitelaw presents a-life art practice through four of its characteristic techniques and tendencies. “Breeders” use artificial evolution to generate images and forms, in the process altering the artist’s creative agency. “Cybernatures” form complex, interactive systems, drawing the audience into artificial ecosystems. Other artists work in “Hardware,” adapting Rodney Brook’s “bottom-up” robotics to create embodied autonomous agencies. The “Abstract Machines” of a-life art de-emphasize the biological analogy, using techniques such as cellular automata to investigate pattern, form and morphogenesis.’

I’ve not read the book yet, but if the blog writing is anything to go by, ill certainly be adding it to my list and if your wondering who’s work is discussed in the book, check out the plate’s selection. Elsewhere on Mitchell’s well organized site you can find links to more of his writings as well as to his own computational artwork. Us is Them is a ‘generative work in progress, exploring difference and differentiation’ – its explanatory text presents some nice metaphors of delineation and separation as a counterpoint to the work itself.

Video Cellular Automata Kit

Video Cellular Automata Kit - Make magazine
Video Cellular Automata Kit – Make magazine

VideoThing, a great resource on the subject of video art (including hardware), has announced an interesting contest to find the best implementation (through design or circuit bending) of the curiously sweet Video Cellular Automata Kit from MAKE magazine. For emergent pattern enthusiasts, such as me, the kit might well have arrived through a dream capsule – I just wish there was a PAL version! To get the lowdown on CA’s our faithful accomplice wikipedia will get you started, CA’s also featured in one of my imaginary battles many iterations ago (check out the links on that post for more digital golem goodness). The MAKE magazine kit requires a little soldering and case building plug it into your NSC TV and immerse yourself in discreet system animatronics; and at last a good reason to own a TV!

Socialfiction Gargoyle Automaton
Shells (Antidote to bluetooth blues)
SanchTV: Experiments with Cellular Automata and Pixelshader in VVVV

Triggers 01|05|07

Mooonriver, encroaches many territories with cartographic journeys & eclectic discoveries. While ‘night travelling, daydreaming and mapping her escapisms’ she leaves behind an interesting tale/trail of Neogeographies and Neural Networks through the eye of Flickr, the fantastical post-Bruegel Aerodynamics-for-psychonauts, Spatial Urbanists and Fantastic Cities.

Joao Riba’s Expanded Cinema is building up an impressive set of links to early video works and experimental film. A quick eye over the list of featured videos reveals many works central to the concept of Expanded Cinema by Youngblood. Check out Robert Breer’s ‘69’ or ‘Man talking his dog out for air’, both childlike-cartooned montages of living flipbook minimalism, constructivism and abstract Expressionism. You could lose a lot of time here.

A post called Complex Geometry at AccuracyandAesthetics, is an attractor to The Theatre of Pattern Formation – on-going artist/scientist collaboration project exploring ‘naturally occurring patterns in nature and mathematics and how they can be seen within the aesthetic traditions of the arts’ The collaboration has lead to a planetarium not containing the night sky, but the patterns of non linear dynamics triggered by ‘bioacoustics’ – One of the perpetrators is James Crutchfield, responsible for the only important scientific paper on video feedback available.

Unproductive is the home of Leonal Cunha (check out the previous post for his actionscript comps) which collects links to interesting, predominantly glitch infused video works, my favourite being Atonal’s ‘CCD crash’ an (un)intentional digital homage to Stan Brakhage