Archives for the Month of November, 2008

Structure Synth

Structure Synth
Nabla – Syntopia

Structure Synth is an application for creating complex three-dimensional structures using simple rule sets. Using a few line of code, with statements condensed to a few characters, iterated multiforms can be generated consisting of thousands of individual objects. Developed by Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen, this free software is a direct attempt to produce a 3d version of Context Free, featured on Dataisnature in a previous post. To whet your appetite for experimentation check out the Structure Synth Flickr group – Sublue has some fine examples of recursive structures and entropic cubes, Syntopia provides beautifully rendered curve iterations and architectural constructions. Things get even better for VVVV’ers as Vux has produced a Structure Synth plugin for our favourite video synthesis toolkit.

Flickr Fruits #20

System5_14-MstogRnd01 – Frank Berg

Frank Bergs Progress set documents experiments involving Delaunay triangulation, networks, maze building algorithms, circle packing and Voronoi diagrams, and at times combining more than one of these in the same system. Restricting the palette to just black and white accentuates the structures and configurations – cellular forms arise, optical artifacts and crystalline lattices make an appearance.

The Sierpinsky Triangle is one of those canonical self-similar shapes that is burned into the fractal collective unconscious of those who have studied the many intriguing visualisations of iterative functions. The shape is commonly generated through a simple function but Oskay’s Fimo Fractal set reveals a more crafty mode of operation.

Modular architecture, living capsules & abandoned towns, all loved by Natureisdata, come together in Cypherones Sanjhih set. Brightly coloured UFO pods, symmetrically ordered, lay dilapidated and slowly decaying in a forgotten Chinese coastal resort.

It’s cold and dark in London at this hour, and I suspect the same for the rest of this so called ‘temperate’ Island. Its not all bad though – Mumblion (aka Mumbleboy) can provide us with a much needed jab of psychedelic kaleidoscopic robotic symmetry to get us through the day. Transformer butterfly mechanisms come to the rescue!

Larry Cuba – Calculated Movements

Calculated Movements - Larry Cuba

Calculated Movements, by Larry Cuba, is composed of syncopated geometric elements that move through space, re-arranging nested versions of themselves in synchronicity – the work is strongly reminiscent of Oscar Fischinger’s pioneering animations. Like robotic wyldestyle glyphs the elements insinuate some kind of hermetic mathematical ordering or purpose. Made in 1980, it’s the last computer animation Cuba made, it was realised using a mutant version of Basic, called Zgrass, designed specifically for translational and transformational animation. Cuba used the same language to produce some of the early computer generated sequences in Star Wars. Gene Youngblood, author of the seminal Expanded Cinema, interviewed Cuba for Video And the Arts magazine in 1986. The conversation reveals some interesting thoughts regarding Cuba’s own philosophy on music, art, mathematics and patterns that have great resonance 22 years later.

‘In computer graphics today there’s, this great push toward simulating reality, especially natural phenomena. Realistic simulations of plants, for example. Plants are beautiful, so naturally the simulations are beautiful. Plants, mountains, trees, the pattern water makes when it goes over a rock-these are evocative in the same way music is. But I want to know why. I don’t want to simply reproduce the pattern; I want to know what it is about the pattern that evokes that feeling. And what’s the relation between that pattern and its mathematical description?’

Glenn Marshall – Music is Math

Glen Marshall - Zeno

Glen Marshall’s sound visualisation software, built with Processing, combines the incendary colours of pyrotechnics with organic growth where particles, clouds and rhizomes react and grow as the music develops. The Zeno Music Visualiser is the latest in the sequence of his works combining generative and audio reactive animation. The engine is based on his ‘Zeno Snakes’, where multiple oscillators acting at a local and global level create undulating pathways for snake-like entities to follow – a process that was used in his Music is Math video.

Thinking Nothing, Then Everything – Jill Gallenstein

Thinking Nothing, Then Everything (detail) – Jill Gallenstein

Biological and floral patterns define their own elaborate development, producing complex organic geometries in Jill Gallenstein ink drawings on paper.

‘The patterns created are not static and they are not perfect. There is room for anomalies that lead to mutations….As time and space move on, larger patterns begin to appear. Something which was once thought to be a lone structure in the universe may actually be part of a larger whole’

Much like the process of chemotaxis where multicellular organisms direct their movements according to certain chemicals in their environmental system, some cells continue to grow in self-similar formations while others move onto new horizons, forming new systems, and creating triggers for new structures.

Jill’s compositions could be the equivalent of Josh Davis’s computational abstractions, both provide manifold decoration for instant retinal pleasure. The drawings were recently included in Radialvedic, a show exploring ‘the subtleties of intrigue with simple objects, zippers, needles, ink and glass, transformed into complex and curious spectacles’ at the Johansson Projects in Oakland, US.