Archives for the Month of April, 2010

Breed – Driessens & Verstappen: Evolutional Diffusion Lattices

Breed - Driessens & VerstappenBreed – Driessens & Verstappen

If the recent history of digital fabbing were overlayed onto the geological era of Earth, Erwin Driessens, and Maria Verstappen ‘s Breed sculpture may have evolved somewhere in the Triassic Period. This piece, an elegant crystalline cubic sculpture, explored in a variety of materials, appears in its initial incarnation as early as 1995 in manually constructed plywood. It was subsequently produced in 2001, in nylon, using the Selected Laser Sintering technique.

Using evolutionary algorithms to simulate the process of cell division, Erwin and Maria’s program recursively removes material from an original block at progressively greater levels of detail. The process involved in determining which cells are left in the structure and which ones removed is not unlike the process of a simple Cellular Automata, albeit in three-dimensions:

‘One initial cell, a cube, engenders throughout successive stages of cell division a complex, multi-cellular “body”. Morphogenetic rules determine how the division of a cell occurs, dependent on its situation between the cells surrounding it. Every potential situation has a separate rule, so a cell surrounded on all sides by other cells may divide differently from a cell that only has a neighbour on the left and underneath, or a cell with nothing at all in the vicinity, etc’

An interesting post procedural aspect to the creation of the sculptural lattices is the ability to search for shape “coherence” in order to find “fitter” models, i.e. models that would not collapse under the effect of gravity in the real world:

‘The simplest method (two-membered evolution strategy) is already effective: take a randomly composed genotype as base, generate the phenotype and test it for fitness; mutate the base genotype, generate the phenotype and test it for fitness; compare both results with each other, and take the result with the highest fitness as the new base. Repeat the mutations until the result satisfies the stated requirements’

Bizmuth Crystal
Bizmuth Crystal

The most recent versions of the piece, Breed 1.2, were produced in 2007 in printed metal. Looking at these cuboid multi-forms its not difficult to recognise the all to familiar frozen geometric patterns of Cellular Automata and the self-organising structures that emerge out of Activator-Inhibitor systems. One specific comparison that should not go unnoticed is the obvious similarity between these models and real world Hopper crystals such as those of Bismuth. Bismuth crystals grow in this shape because the edges of growing structure generate a higher electrical charge activating crystal growth to a higher degree than in the centre of the sides. The program behind Breed essentially works in a similar way reversed – activating removal of cells depending on their mutual arrangement and proximity within a system defined by simple rules.

aDiatomea – Sonically Superformed Micro-organisms

aDiatomaaDiatomea – MRK

Dataisnature is always pleased to welcome new generative micro-organisms into the ever growing computational food chain. Many simulations of biological lifeforms indulge in artistic licence to create organisms that are inspired by, but look quite different to, the actual creatures. Aiming for a more accurate replication process, MRK’s aDiatomea Flickr set contains images that look remarkably like Diatoms – not surprising since a sequence of rendered Superformula shapes were cross checked against actual Diatom species.

aDiatomaaDiatomea – MRK

Diatoms are a unicellular phytoplankton [literally ‘plant-wanderer’]. These minuscule hydropsychogeographers drift in eddies in the ocean created by the confluence of two or more oceanic currents, tracing out spirographic trajectories in space-time. There are over 100,000 species of these tiny symmetrical wonders and together they generates half of the Worlds entire output of oxygen.

aDiatomaaDiatomea – MRK

MRK’s generative Diatoms utilize ambient occlusion techniques combined with fractal texturing procedures in order to simulate the delicate silicate geometric structures that provide protection to the real-life diatoms. Form generating sustenance is further added by the injection of sound.

Geo Mutant’s [Buckyball lifeforms]
Year of the Radiolarian

Pathological Geomorphology | Extreme, Excessive & Bizarre Landforms

Pathological GeomorphologySaskatchewan Delta

Pathological Geomorphology is a new blog dedicated to images of ‘extreme, bizarre, incredible, shocking, or otherwise intriguing landscapes and landforms of the Earth’. Its creator Kyle House, a geologist specializing in Fluvial Geomorphology, Paleohydrology, and Quaternary Stratigraphy, created the blog after scouring Google Earth, and other similar online services for images of interesting land assemblages. As Kyle notes in his first blog post these landforms are to him pathological in the sense of ‘being developed or expressed in such a degree that they are extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal’.

This blog has been drawn to such formations, and more particularly the generative processes behind them as illustrated in recent blog posts such as The Uncritical Solitonic Undulations of Barchan Sand Dunes or The Slot Valleys of Antelope Canyon as a Hydro-Dynamic Computation.

While we very much welcome the term ‘Pathological’, alluding as it does to those corporeal textures of diseased tissue as found in Atlases of Pathology, Dataisnature prefers to refer to the computational rather than the medical in mentioning these formations. Being pattern enthusiasts and adhering to notions of Pancomputationlism our eyes focus on the emergent patterns, algorithmic distributions and generative processes behind such land form exotica.

The site acts as a wonderful catalogue of geo-vignettes with compelling annotations and leads to more treasure. Expect to find images of parabolic sand dunes advancing through a small rural community, a river delta in Spain taking the form of a cartoon-like bird, plus multiple folding of Palaeozoic sediments in Algeria to create radial concentric patterns.

Aside from ‘pathologies’ created by ‘natural causes’ you can expect to find the symptoms of diseases inflicted on earth resulting from environmental issues such as the persistent effect of treated waste water in the delta of the Las Vagas Wash.

Black Mass Implosions – Marco Fusinato

Black Mass Implosions - Marco FusinatoMass Black Implosion (ST/48-1, 240162, Iannis Xenakis) – Marco Fusinato

Marco Fusinato’s sequence of drawings ‘Black Mass Implosions’ transform avant-garde musical notation into new graphical interpretations. The systematic connection of individual notes and musical processes to central points within the notation reconfigure the temporal and sequential reading of scores. The overlayed schematics propose a sonic implosion of all the notes simultaneously into a collapsed audio space. There is intimation of musical dark matter and compressed acoustic phenomena. Aside from the allusion to the physics of space, the title might also refer to the ceremonies of witchcraft, wherein the proposed transmutations of the original music might take the form of a ceremonial rite of annihilation.

Flickr Fruits #33 | Trig Textures, Nano-exotica, Cut-Fold Grammars and Digital Slices

Flickr Fruits  33Polydesma 1800x – Studio Jonas Coersmeier

Elodole’s Concertina Paper Sculptures are a lesson in cut and fold grammar. Different combinations of linear cuts and traverse folding create a taxonomy of corrugated paper sculptures with distinctly Escher-esque geometries. Another of Elodoles sets, Paper Constellations, documents his experimentation with abstract modular paper formations, where often individual elements are composed in a circular configurations.

Studio Jonas Coersmeier collates a Flickr set devoted to the Nanotectonica Seminar at Pratt Institute in Fall 2009. The set comprises a collection of images generated with a TM-1000 scanning electron microscope. Expect to feast on micro organic and geometric messages from an unseen world.

Afsart’s set of Digital Slices documents the basic woodwork technique of lap joinery applied to the construction of slice-form sculptures. Slice-forms comprise several interlocking shaped sheets intersecting at right angles to create forms that suggest three dimensionality and volumetrics disproportionate to probable mass.

Holger Lipperman’s Sine/Cosine/Theta/Noise set explores trigonometric plotted objects, most often circles, combined with noise generated parameters to create dense fields, close-knit and massed textures. The thumbnails appear as bacterial growths or lichen colonies with their associated emergent radial patterns. On closer inspection arc and radial movements of particle physics and chaotic attractors are implied.