Archives for the Month of April, 2009

Linn Meyers – undulation, interference & turbulence


Linn Meyers employs a very simple rule-based process to create complex organic geometric drawings that remind us of dense geographic contours, sound wave mappings, or the irregular meanderings of the groove of a vinyl record. Constrained by the bounds of primitive shapes she draws a single line that completely covers a surface, something like the human equivalent of the space-filling curve equation. The line never touches itself and aberrations are amplified upon each pass of the line creating linear undulations. Distant views, at least in the photographic documentation, appear to present subtle Moir̩ effects and welcome interference patterns Рanother layered allusion to sound. Often, on moving inwards, the lines appear to move into a turbulent zone creating a vortex of movement.

Human Robots & Space-Filling Emotions

Flickr Fruits #26

Marram Study – Vina Rust.

Mark Cassino has an excellent collection of photographed snow flake crystals – dendritic growth patterns radiate in their classic 6-fold symmetrical arrangements. The refracted light upon a rarefied blue background reveal the crystals hexagonal lattices in sharp contrast. The forms could be seen as natures own data visualisation of air conditions – each unique formation being a complex consequence of temperature, humidity and pressure as the crystals form while descending through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Fdecomite has a large collection of Stellations and Polyhedra, both generated using PovRay and existing in the ‘real world’ in the form of paper and wood constructions. ‘Stellation is a process of constructing new polygons by extending elements such as edges or face planes, usually in a symmetrical way, until they meet each other again’ For a full taxonomy of the 75 non-prismatic uniform polyhedra, as well as 44 stellated forms check out Wenniger’s list of models.

Vina Rust creates beautifully finished Jewellery inspired by biological illustrations and micro photographs. Some pieces appear as cross sectional dissections of plant stems revealing the organisation of cells of which Vina says ‘ there is a musical quality….. they reveal themes and variations in the logical patterning and loose architecture determined by functionality’.

Mattia Casalegno – Dissipative Structures & Cartesian thought-forms


Mattia Casalegno applies organic compositions and linear multiforms, melding biological, ecological and synaesthetic ideas into his generative artworks. Structure Dissipative, a combination of granular synthesis and chaotic particle systems, is inspired by the term coined by Ilya Prigogine. The term describes the way in which systems dissipate entropy into their environment in order to form greater levels of organisation within – it lays the ground work for modern theories of self-organising systems and concepts such as Emergence. Sounds of Complexity, in collaboration with Enzo Varriale, is an interpretation of EEG patterns – readings of minute electrical currents generated by the human brain. Prior recordings of EEG information is converted in to sound which is then analysed in VVVV to generate a Carteisan translation of human thought-forms.

Much of the early pioneering work done in EEG research was carried out by W Grey Walter and is recounted in his seminal book on the subject, ‘The Living Brain’. All though this book is outdated from a technical point of view it has some great chapters describing the strange variety of effects on cognition & EEG readings by flickering lights, strobes and other sensory stimuli.

Hyperseeing Journal

Vorodo – Bathsheba Grossman

The International Society of the Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture has published HYPERSEEING regularly since fall 2006. It contains a selection of articles, news, book review and comment on artworks with a strong grounding in mathematical concepts and philosophy. The content is particularly strong on 3 dimensional work with a leaning towards topological sculptures informed by surface formulae. Other areas of interest include knots, space-filling curves, hyperspatial structures, and (im)possible figures. The Spring 09 issue has just been added to the website. It features work and papers from artists familiar to Dataisnature readers – Hyperbolic Crochet from Daina Taimina and printed sculpture from Bathsheba Grossman. It also contains a stimulating article entitled ‘Art as a metaphor for the Fourth-Dimension’ by Irene Rousseau.

For a very decent overview of topological/surface sculpture go no further than Edmund Harriss’s post at his blog, Maxwelldemon. More info on surface exotica can also be found at an earlier Dataisnature post.

Andrew Evans – Hyperstructures, Arcologies & Rubble.

The Jipip Tenderloin District – Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans’s intricate pen drawings of city sprawls and calligraphic settlements might be architectural layouts for the fantastic arcologies often dreamed of in simulations such as Sim City or Civilisation. A set of drawings describe an imagined(?) town with each strata of infrastructure exposed and layered in an organised sprawl. Detailed drawings of this place reveal dense suburbs of interconnected machinery, towers, cable cars and enmeshed hyperstructures.

Just as wonderful, in places, are Andrews captures of destroyed & partly demolished buildings. Towers remain defiant among piles of rubble Рmonumental and elegiac. In another picture slabs of refusing concrete cling to the outside fa̤ade like a war-torn monolith.

Twittering Machines

Twitter Visualized – Scott Templar

Any excuse to post a picture, and reference, one of Dataisnature’s favourite Paul Klee drawings is always welcome. Dataisnature/Mr Prudence/Transphormetic is finally twittering on a tiny branch of global Twitter tree. You’ll find links to sites outside of the standard D==N subject matter, as well as found aphorisms and other pithy remarks, updates and the de facto hour to hour miscellany. Social networking sites increasingly raise the question of identity(s) Which of the many different me’s are allowed a say in a specific networking channel?. Will one identity take over and become a monad over the nomads in the datastream, or will the personal, impersonal professional, irreverent, inane and metaphysical get all mushed up into an info-noise soup? Who knows and does it matter? For now, at least, rather than having a personal as well as specific Dataisnature Twitter account, ill just have the one. Or else I might end up more overloaded than before and finish up looking like the exhausted, exasperated bird on Klee’s machine.

Not surprisingly Twitter is ideal feed for the data visualisers. A quick bit of googling reveals a mass of visualisations ranging from the poetic to the mandatory – the best to my eyes, are the ones that reveal the temporal side of interconnectedness such as Socialcollider.

Sonic polychrome liquid communities

Sonic Liquid Figures
Waterfigures from Linden.G

The sonification of form in materials such as liquids and powders is well-known and famously documented in Hans Jenny’s experiments of which he developed a field of science known as Cymatics. By passing different frequencies of sound through liquids Jenny demonstrated a range of geometric and organic patterns of intricate complexity and resembling a range of process patterns found in nature. Linden.g’s Flickr set compiles high speed exposure captures of coloured liquids and immersions under the influence of sound waves. The photographic technique has also been used by Fotoopa but without a sound input. Both sets contain resonant globular communities and amorphous congregations of anthropomorphic figures. Sometimes the forms take on exact geometries, circular fan shapes grow from the menisci, elsewhere perfect spheres coagulate.

Lichtenberg Figures – Garden of Forking Electrical Paths.

Lichtenberg Figures
Lichtenberg Figures

Dendritic forms occur pretty much across the board in natural processes, from the very tiny to the very large – and, as such, they are a kind of archetypal signature of dynamical systems of either very long or very short periodicity. At the latter end the scale we find these branching paths in the dramatic formations of Litchenberg Dust Figures. These are marks left from traceries of branching electrical discharges – frozen in space-time appearing as ‘electron trees, beam trees, or lightning trees’ in certain materials. Interestingly, it is posited that this process formation may continue downwards in scale to the molecular level!

A strange kind of temporary body scarification occurs, sometimes, when people are struck by lightning. The familiar forking pathways insinuate themselves on the surface of the victim’s skin.

This kind of branching is not only confined to electrical charges. Make some sparks from a lighter without igniting a flame. Looking carefully you will see that each spark creates a subset of sparks, forking in a similar a way.