Archives for the Month of July, 2008

Triggers for synaesthetes

Welte Light-tone disk Edwin Emil Welte

Tonewheels is a concise historical appraisal of sound-light synthesis with some exciting new inclusions of lesser-know contraptions and artists. Lots of interesting charts, diagrams and musical notation. Vibroexponators, Photonas and Optigans!

James Peels article for the online tendril of cabinet magazine, The Scale and the Spectrum, analyses the history of the chromatics of sound in the context of his own series of colour-music paintings which attempt at presenting a visual installation of silent music.

Frédéric Rossille’s paper Musicality of Victor Vasarely’s Plastic Works makes some convincing arguments for analogies of music idioms to the modular works of our favourite Op-Artist, Mr Vasarely. Discussions of musical modality, counterpart, variation and repetition applied to Vasarely’s works are eloquently taken care of.

Instruments for Natural Philosophy is a large and wonderful index of physics apparatus of special interest to sonophotophiliacs – those dealing with Oscillations and waves, Acoustics, Optics & Optical recreation.

Alain Lioret’s paper Being Paintings, published in 2005, focuses on art created with Cellular Automata, L-system grammar, Morphogenetic algorithms and neural networks.

Aliasing Artifacts and Accidental Algorithmic Art – Craig S Kaplan

Voronoi Patterns – Craig S Kaplan

Craig S Kaplan is well-know in the area of computational ornamentation, professor at the Computer Graphics Lab, University of Waterloo in Canada, his work is widely recognised in the intersecting fields of Maths and Art.

Among many papers and projects he has worked on one particularly caught my eye, ‘Aliasing Artifacts and Accidental Algorithmic Art’. The story of how unexpected imagery arose from a program he developed to render ornamental designs using Voronoi algorithms. Rather than the ‘force the glitch’ kind of attitude we’ve seen recently amongst the circuit bending fraternity or the ‘lets transpose one data set onto another’ methodology dear to the visual glitch worshipers, here the error appears to have originated inside the computer architecture itself. His program, with its unexpected combination of signal processing behaviour and aliasing artefacts, has created intricate ornamental lattices and Op-Art like mysteries.

A little more Voronoi and Glitch?

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef & other non Euclidean Miscellany


The Institute for Figuring currently have an exhibition in London of their hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef. A celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world. It literally allows us to think outside of the box! You can check out the Bleached Reef, the Ladies Silurian Reef, the Branched Anemone Garden and the ever-growing Toxic Reef. You’ll also find new environments, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable Reef, the Bearded Reef and the Bottle Tree Grove. What’s more you can add to the exhibition with your own creations if you wish – it’s not too late, there are two more Crochet Nights left to go.

Hyperbolic geometry was developed independently by Nikolai Lobachevski and Farkas Bolyai in the 19th century. It differs from both Euclidean geometry and spherical geometry in that the sum of the angles of a triangle is always less than 180°. Henri Poincare devised a way to visualise infinite two-dimensional hyperbolic space as the interior of a disc Poincare’s tessellation pattern representing an infinitely large hyperbolic plane will be familiar to most through MC Eschers work, notably his Circle Limit series of etchings. Escher came across Poincare’s visualisation via the Geometer Donald Coxeter.

The IFF has published a Field Guide to Hyperbolic Geometry. It’s a highly readable, and at times poetic, exposition of the fantastic world of the Hyperbolas. In it we read of all those names mentioned above and but more importantly the work of mathematician Daina Taimina who worked out a way of making actual physical models of hyperbolic space using a cunning technique – crochet.

‘If, as the Moors believed, repeated patterns connote the divine, we might conclude that Heaven itself would be a hyperbolic space’ – A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Geometry.

‘In the next few years, the WMAP satellite currently taking pictures of the early universe may provide evidence one way or another if its shape and formation is in fact hyperbolic’ – A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Geometry.

Flicker Fruits #16 Summer Monsoon collection

Spring 2 (detail) – Kat Masback

Proving that digital dysfunction can emit hermetic code and alchemical emotion, simultaneously, is (((o)))’s sonic visual glitch poem )22-f. The stills capture moments of moon transit, including its occlusion via an atmospheric pixallation process. The video, synaesthetic with syncopated sound, describes the moon in a fluttering dialogue with the light and dark horizons of the Underworld. Also check out the Mondrian Morse code contained within the NogoZone_soundtoy set.

K masbacks drawings, particularly of imaginary network configurations and charts, continue to bring joy! Network sketch comes across part musical notation, part Paul Klee whimsy and part psychgeographic conjecture. Spring 2 appears to be taken from an atlas of cybergeography or a textbook on molecular structure – here the association with computation is implicit.

Visual research can take many unexpected turns and the most unsurprising sources can prove influential. A great example is JosephKings Security Patterns set, an ‘On-going project to collect and organize envelope security patterns from around the world’. All the scans possess a space-filling pattern and/or decoration, but some point in the direction of Optical Art while others imply the morphology of dots and dashes seen on the coats and fur of some of this planets more exotic animals.

Loops & compacting disasters

Dataisnature has been lying dormant for over a month, until now! I’ve recently been enjoying English culture shock, bringing its noise after an intense Indian adventure. The return has found me nestled in lower level loop, constrained by mundane activities rather than recreational research.

A few days ago the malicious compacting algorithm that automatically runs once in a while in Outlook Express (I know, don’t scorn) corrupted my inbox.mbx enough to kill off all my received mail. If you have sent a mail to Dataisnature in last month, you might want to send one again. I was just getting to the point where I had some time to process those lost mails.

Ps. No recovery software was able to rebuild my inbox encase you are wondering. Be careful if your running OE, the problem, it seems, has been widely documented already.