Archives for the Month of March, 2009

Flickr Fruits #25 – Fantastic Voyages.

Nassula, Un Ciliado Aspirardor – Proyecto Agua

Proyecto Agua’s journeys into the microcosmos have revealed a dazzling set of verdant pond creatures and microbe mysteries. Semi translucent protozoa appear to contain jewel like cells and self-organising lattices made of refracting gold and silver. Diatoms, Amphoras and many of our other nano sized friends compete for our attention. Protean love at first sight.

Jedw.40cat’s travels take us meandering past the dense formations of bubbles in foams and the galactic swirls of coloured liquids in various suspensions. Vast exploding supernovas and psychedelic encounters are captured in the fantastic interactions of colours and textures. Jupiter and beyond.

Richard Galpin – Generation, Geometry and Perception

Richard Galpin
Free State I Richard Galpin

Utilising a methodical analogue process of cutting away the surface emulsion of photographs of cities, Richard Galpin recent work arrives at complex geometric architectural crystallisations, fragmentary projections, dislocated plans of possible utopian/dystopian cities.

‘These new works impose basic geometric shapes which work as an axis from which to structure the selection or removal of chaotic city elements… I have some sense that perception of form and colour in the city is being tested – and confounded’

We might suppose the original photographs map out the subsequent scalpel processing to produce these neo constructivist reflections and prismatic cubist conjectures of the urban environment. Especially interesting is the way in which the sense of space is confounded by flat grid-like arrangements ‘growing’ into three-dimensional façades. These works are yet more excellent examples of how process-based limitations generate dislocated emergent complexities.

Richards works can bee seen in London at the Hales Gallery until the 2nd May 2009.

Jack Tait – Linkograms, Meccanographs & other Drawing Machines.

Sine Dash Line – Jack Tait

Jack Tait builds his own bespoke analogue drawing machines that, in his own words, ‘do not produce entirely random squiggles but respond to some portion of deterministic control’. Using the classic harmonograph as a model, he built the Linkograph, allowing periodic figures, similar to spirographs, to be generated. Another approach he has used is to mimic the workings of a computer program itself. His Wave Machine, is the mechanical version of a digital sinewave generator, but here analogue switches can be used to calibrate the machine to ‘program’ a different species of sinewave.

Procedural Drawings
Lia – IsaidIf + links to other drawing machines
Oscillons & the art of oscillography

Emma Kunz – Cardinal Points


Swiss born Emma Kunz, loosely considered a visionary or spiritualist artist, produced a set of complex drawings that employed strict symmetry and geometric transformations of lines and crystalline shapes. Her grounding in meditation reveals itself in her works through the mandalic repetition of motifs, the use of cardinal poles and in some cases Sri-Yantra like configurations. These works could be seen as machines for meditation and if we are to take up Carl Jung’s point of view that, psychologically, mandalas were drawn to create a sense of harmony and unity by representing the broken being made whole – it may be easier to appreciate Emma Kunz’s work on a philosophical and metaphysical level.

There is a periodicity in Kunz’s drawings that remind us of John Whitney’s early computational film work, in particular his film Arabesque. Not surprisingly both artists were preoccupied with the harmonic resolution of linear elements and the counterpoint of their concurrent forces.

Related: Inventing Kindergarten

Flickr Fruits #24

Patchwork de Colza – Lo M

Thecoultates aerial pictures of undulating sand dunes of the Namibian desert are precise ‘recordings’ of complex aeolian processing. The ongoing shifting formations create a landscapes reminiscent of the lunar surface. The arrangement of many millions of particles of sand in each dune could be seen as an ongoing computation, a subset of the computational universalism advocated by the likes of Steven Wolfram and Rudy Rucker.

Keeping the framing high above the earth are Lo M’s ‘A view from above’ set revealing an array of landscape process patterns, mountain terrains, arable patchworks and desert textures.

Villi Ingi has a sharp collection of macro’s taken of bubbles in liquids. The brightly illuminated, and a times mercurial compositions reveal the cellular packings and specific patterns of bubbles in water during freezing.

BobJ03054′s pictures of ice and frost explore the whole gamut of different sub-zero autocatalytic arrangements. There are crystal dendrite growths that look like plants, others have fan-like spreads, and some the have the look of silicates, such as the banded metamorphic Agates.

Jonathan McCabe – Biological Mandalas

Jonathan McCabe
bm_sym_5_20090311_096 – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe’s work is no stranger to Dataisnature, a few years back he kindly gave away copies of his Nervous States DVD – animations of output states of small neural networks. Recently his been uploading new work to his Flickr account, his RSMSTI 2 set contains hundreds of stills from reaction diffusion computations. These computations were popularised by Alan Turin in the 50′s as a proposition for morphogenesis – the shape creation of cells and organisms. The morphogen activators in Jonathan’s systems are averaged in a series of fractions to create strict symmetry resulting in biological mandalas with intricate organic details. The thumbnails, as a complete picture, give the impression of kaleidoscopic morphogenetic processes at work.

Anonima Group – The forgotten Perceptual Art Collective

Anonima Group
Size Change Drawing – Francis Hewitt [1967]

The Anonima Group are a little known US collective working in the 60′s who were dedicated to producing works investigating the psychology of visual perception. Using the latest scientific research of the time they produced a mass of optical works, often geometric and commonly monochromatic. The works were concerned with patterns of modulation and graphic spatializations of repetitive elements. Transformational processes, incremental scalings and subdivision of planes are a prominent features – which, of course, foreshadow common rule-based techniques in the current crop of generative art.

The fact that the Anonima Group has remained in relative obscurity is of no surprise considering the name of the group and its artistic credo which was anti gallery, against art competitions and offering no excuse for the commercialism of art. They also distanced themselves from the later emerging Op-Art movement – it might be said that to some extent Anonima may have been precursors.

Emma McNally – Emergent Cartographies

F5 (detail) – Emma McNally

Cartographic conjecture, emergent systems and experimental musical notation all coalescent in the space planes of Emma McNally’s drawings. The pieces, done with graphite on paper, are dense with interconnected and intersecting shapes – squares, circles and dots rhythmically layered to create dense three-dimensional spaces. Biological and cellular processes are also evoked, Apotosis, being a fine example. Our friend wikipedia informs us that Apotosis ‘is the process of programmed cell death (PCD) that may occur in multicellular organisms. Maps and mappings also figure heavily – imagined paths, trajectories and psychogeographic boundaries of possible journeys are implied. Beyond mappings of physical space we also find notations of dataspace in the nodal connections of imagined networks. Those familiar with the classic mappings of cyberspace will immediately fill comfortable with the recursive branchings in the piece Contagion Cage. All pieces imply the micro and macroscopic, often simultaneously, from teeming constellations of axons and dendrites to the conjunctions of celestial cells and

Tuesday Flotsom

Conical 03 – Marius Watz

Cronicaelectronica recently released ‘Digital Sound Drawings’ by Moren Riis, 6 pieces that use direct processing of drawings into sound. The release, which is free to download, is also complimented with a limited edition set of prints from Marius Watz, where traced segments of conical shapes cause vibrantly coloured interference patterns.

Network diagrams, occlusions and eclipses of celestial bodies, and dynamic charts reminiscent of Paul Klee’s Pedological sketches all abound in Cornelius Cardew’s experimental musical scores. The esoteric 193 page Treatise is intended to be studied and discussed by its performers in advance of its rendition, and interpreted in ways they see fit according to their training and musical dispositions.

Pablo Valbuena explores the sculptural time-space by augmenting his physical structures with light projections which change the nature of the volumetric over time. The resulting luminous geometries, most commonly cubes and three dimensional rectangles are further enhanced by the presence of sound.

Chris Sugrue and Damian Stewarts ‘A Cable Plays’ is described as an ‘audio-visual performance where two performers appear to be engaged in a strange game or ritual…. taking turns pinning bits of yarn across an arcane game board’. In this game, emergent spatial patterns are triggered by the opening of Voronoi-like cells defined by the inter-crossing and unlocking of the yarns.