Archives for the Month of March, 2010

Bruce Pollock – A Scroll Through the Alluvial Cellular Terrain

Bruce Pollock - A Scroll Through the Alluvial Cellular Terrain
Pathnet (detail) – Bruce Pollock

Bruce Pollock’s drawings incorporate aspects of process and simulation of computation. A perusal of the drawn surface patterns reveal circle packing distributions, Voronoi subdivisions, irregular tessellations and a variety of other geometric multi-forms. In Pathnet we are reminded of the paradoxical honeycomb formation of truncated octahedron’s resulting from close order of packing soap bubbles. In Quake 2 a surface of subdivisioned blocks hint at a Treemap schematic (structured data as a set of nested rectangles). A linear recursive structure breaks through the dense blocks giving the impression of a plant/soil/root system diagram.

Many of the drawings can be read as patterns transformations as landscape topologies and this is most obvious in the long scroll piece. Here, geometric quasi-crystalline formations mutate into organic forms. Outbreaks of alluvial cellular activity occurs punctuated by the occasional formation of geodesic spheres.

Form Constants – Wendy Collin Sorin

Form Constants - Wendy Collin SorinForm Constants – Wendy Collin Sorin

Wendy Collin Sorin’s series of drawings Form Constants are process generated geometric tessellations recalling the patterns of woven textiles. The disjuncts and fractures within the interlocking lattices serve to create the illusion of warp and weft; their respective uneven tensile forces extending an impression of an undulating fabric surface.

‘ Each drawing begins with a grid of interlocking pentagons and substructures of triangles, chevrons, squares, Xs and diagonals. Drawn in freehand, the forms accumulate intuitively in a way that responds to influences of process, time, and life’

Existing between rule-like periodicity and randomness these woven drawings also allude to the interlaced screen, to pixels, and recall the dysfunctional patterns of recent glitch art and imperfect design. The glitch analogy doesn’t end there, for Wendy’s drawings are informed by her migraine auras – those geometric optical disturbances cause by corruption of the neural-optic system. The phrase ‘Form Constants’ was originally coined by the German-American psychologist Heinrich Kluver. It describes geometric patterns which are recurringly observed during hallucinations and altered states of consciousness. These geometric archetypes and entopic figures are posited to be the result of symmetry breaking dynamical systems and mechanisms in the primary visual cortex. An interesting paper [PDF] on the subject, What Geometric Visual Hallucinations Tell Us about the Visual Cortex, can be found here.

Selected Tweets #6

Selected Tweets #6Lebbeus Wood’s Anti-gravity Tomb proposal

Microblogged: recent selected tweets from my Twitter stream.

Local Area Networks: Drawings of architectural deconstructions with Op-Art-esque fa̤ades РViktor Timofeev.

Felice Varini creates geometric installation-paintings that question our perception of perspective.

‘A focus that will not stay in focus’. Documentary on the Op-Art exhibition, The Responsive Eye, New York, 1965.

Bioform sculptures – Tomáš Medek. Seed/Pollen/bulb-shaped wireframe, triangulation & sliceform constructions.

The mutable illusory sculptures of Hiroyuki Hamada. Including storage device-like objects.

The Light sensitive ‘intelligence’ of Braitenberg’s Vehicles have been Elegantly adapted by Casey Reas.

As One – Makoto Yakabi. Meditative geometric abstractions of multiplicity [CGI].

Brownian gargoyles: A Crystalpunk Automaton for the Chain-Reaction Glitterati – SocialFiction.

Knitting and computation. Cellular Automata Rule 110 as knitting instruction.

Visual music: Clavilux 2000 – Jonas Friedmann Heuer. Midi output to a VVVV patch generates lasting musical visualisation.

Selected Tweets #6LOGICWILBRKYOURHART – Viktor_Timofeev

Geometric Calligraphy. The DAMs page of computer plotter drawings from the 1960s.

Abstract geometric ink plotter drawings made using a Commodore Amiga – Bill Hinz.

Margaret Noble is collecting sound art recordings [Anechoic pulses, glass Kalimbas & Saturn’s radio Emissions].

Sonic peripheries at Silent Listening: Dispersion of Soundwaves in Ice Sheets.

Living science-art interfaces. A compendium of bacterio-aesthetics and microbial-art.

The Bacterial Orchestra, by Olle Cornéer and Martin Lü a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism.

Kinetic sonic multiplicities, the work of Zimoun.

Serial Consign’s ‘Four or Five Chess Machines’ examines chess as a translating system and encoding mechanism in art.

‘Means of Production’ – Serial Consign delivers a another quality indepth post on Fabbing and Digital Art.

Riding electromagnetic currents into the void. Butdoesitfloat collates pictures of Lebbeus Wood’s Anti-gravity Tomb proposal.

Trust-fun explores head scarf couture ready for the apocalypse adored with garish fractals and strange attractors.

The Uncritical Solitonic Undulations of Barchan Sand Dunes

Barchan Sand DunesBarchan Sand Dunes, Empty Quarter – National Geographic

Among the more interesting landforms generated by Aeolian processes on earth (as well as other planets) are those known as Barchan (literally crescent or arc shaped) sand dunes. Generated with constant wind direction and relatively low sand availability, a Barchan dune can stretch between a few meters up to spans of more than a 100 meters. At a distance these geometric mounds appear as sculptural forms herding en mass across the surface of the desert. An interesting spatio-temporal property of the collective is the behaviour of small fast moving sand dunes passing through larger slower dunes unscathed. This kind movement is similar to the way standing waves (Solitons) pass through each other in sound and light.

Dune formation has been extensively modelled using discreet cellular-based agents. A time-lapsed video of Barchan dune movement would most likely appear as a liquid Cellular Automata-like animation. General sand dune formation relies on the notion of self-organised criticality. Grains of sand pile up on a dune until the dune reaches a critical point and then an avalanche occurs often creating a chain reaction of complex dune formation. Barchan dunes seem to exist on the edge of self-criticality, just about avoiding the inevitable collapse to maintain their form as they march across the desert.

Elsewhere in our Solar System extreme winds on Mars (gusts up to 600 km/hr) also generate fields of Barchan dunes, particularly at its poles where the dunes become frozen.

Calculating Space – Ralf Baecker

Calculating Space - Ralf BaeckerCalculating Space – Ralf Baecker

Rechnender Raum (Calculating Space)
, a mechanical sculpture by Ralf Baecker, is constructed from sticks, strings, lead plumbs and little servo motors. Its miniature mechanised movements function collectively as a simple neural network by implementing core Boolean functions such as NOT/AND/OR. Using over 200 separate Boolean units the sculpture is able to simulate the workings of a Cellular Automata. Statistics and technical specifications do not do the sculpture justice alone. In reality the delicate movements of the parts and the sounds of the motors create a subtle architectonic music, while inside an elastic wire-frame mesh is pulled and pushed into its calculated space-shape.

‘The machine carries out its computations only for itself. Without depending on interaction or requesting it, it goes through its own states endlessly. The results of the computations are sent inwards – into its own center – they are not intended for the viewer. So an interesting paradox appears: while the machine opens up everything it closes it at the same time, as if it has a secret.’

Calculating Space was the name of a book by Konrad Zuse, an early computer pioneer and inventer of some of the first programming languages. Published in the late 60’s the book proposed the theory of Digital Physics, a subset of Pancomputational philosophy. Digital Physics posits the idea that the universe is a kind of huge parallel computation or gigantic cellular automaton. Interestingly, Zuse created a number of paintings themed around his work on Calculating Space, one can be viewed here.

PDF version of Calculating Space – Konrad Zuse [UK]
PDF version of Calculating Space – Konrad Zuse [DE]

Actop – Surreal Trapcode Landscapes

Amateur - Actop
Amateur – Actop

Actop is a creative cell based in Barcelona consisting of Alvaro P. Posadas and César Pésquera. A browse through their recent Flickr sets reveals a range of subtly coloured abstract landscapes. Much of the work is generated using the Trapcode special effects plugins for After Effects. A recently completed work, Amateur, almost completely absolves the use of colour in favour of blue tinged organic forms creating delicately formed landscapes. Filament and tubule structures conspire to create panoramas reminiscent of the hypnogogic paintings of the Surrealist Yves Tanguy. We could also be convinced of a perspective arrived at from the lens of a scanning electron microscope, looking down at miniature organisms and plants. You can view the video of Amateur, as well as other works, at Actop’s Vimeo page.