Archives for the Month of January, 2011

The Generative Song & Sound Pattern Matrixes of the Shipibo Indians

Shipibo textile designs
Shipibo textile designs

The intricate linear geometric and symmetrical artworks of the Shepibo Indians, a large tribe of the Peruvian Amazon, act as visual music maps – scores notating the chants and songs (Icaros) associated with Ayahasca healing ceremonies.

The textiles and embroidery, all crafted by women, contain recursive and self-reflective motifs, including geometric configurations common to those generated computationally by iterative functions. A characteristic recurring visual system found in the textiles are bilaterally generated cellular patterns containing space-filling curves.

The mathematical self-similar nature of indigenous artworks has been noted extensively before – Ron Eglash’s book African Fractals, being a good example of research in this area. The vibrational pattern networks of the Shepibo are specifically connected to the visionary experience during the Ayahasca ceremonies and to this end we are directed to a note in James Crutchfield’s paper, Space-Time Dynamics in Video Feedback. In it he posits the idea that visionary artefacts may well be generated by a kind of biological feedback mechanism in the visual cortex due to the action of psychedelic agents. The linear tessellations of the Shipibo embroiderery have a strong visual resemblance to the patterns generated by video feedback especially those systems containing symmetry breaking transformations.

Left: Shipibo textile design & Right: Space-filling curveShipibo embroidery & a space-filling curve

According to Howard G. Charing, in his article on the visual music of the tribe, ‘the Shipibo can listen to a song or chant by looking at the designs – and inversely, paint a pattern by listening to a song or music’. He goes on to mention how the designs are mapped using specific songs during the creation of the artefacts – in this sense the periodicity and repetitions in the songs appear to act as a generative grammar system – perhaps the song or musical equivalent of an L-system.

Outer Trajectories in the Blog Galaxy #1 [Infrabodies, Evsc, Noiseforairports & Doraballa-ommo]

Hiroshi Sugimoto at Doraballa-ommo
Hiroshi Sugimoto at Doraballa-ommo

InfraBodies deals with hybrid artworks, installations utilising embedded technologies, responsive environments, and info visualisations. Katrin Kalden’s focus leans heavily towards scenographic projection mapping and recent advances in technological fashion, including bioluminescent couture as well as fluid fabrics.

Eva Schindling, whose own artworks have been featured at Dataisnature in the past, has built a number of info-conduits well worth visiting. Her blog mentions artworks utilising electro-depositional ionisation & electrochemical computation techniques, while the research section of her site examines aspects of perception, dreams, and EEG states.

From posts on early pioneering visual music, such as Viking Eggeling’s 1924 Symphonie Diagonale to current investigations into musical robotics, Noiseforairports specialises in sound, music, and technology, their ongoing entangled mutations.

Doraballa-ommo has been an excellent source of reference on monochromatic artworks for sometime now, collecting images of work with mathematical, optical and ornamental characteristics. Expect view a diverse compilation of images, from graphical schematics of sound vibrations to photographic imaging of static electricity on large format film.

Selected Tweets #10 (Sept14 – Oct 16th 2010)

Bloom Flower Tool - Daniel Brown
Bloom Flower Tool – Daniel Brown

Recent selected tweets from my Twitter stream:

Cindermedusae – Marcin Ignac. Sphere deformations – the starting point for Haeckelesque creatures.

Reassuringly ‘mad scientist’-like: Circuit Explorations – Evsc. Visualisations of analogue circuit behaviour.

Eve1 РNumbercult. Delaunay and Voronoi strolling in B̩zier, wrapped in a succulent colour palette.

Lego Tinguely 2 – Roman Gerold. Lego-noise-rhythm-machine simulates the sounds of synthetic synthesis.

Daniel Brown has uploaded his generative Bloom Flower Tool. Attributes can be customised via XML.

StalacTile: Tessellated Manifolds – Students of Washington University. Following the logic of Alhambric Muqarnas and Stalactites.

The Courtesan Formation. A complex naturally occurring artefact in the Agen Allwedd cave, Wales.

Algorithms to analgoue. Human computation: Basil Safwat recreates Jared Tarbell’s Substrate.

Cells - Yukiya Okuda. Voronoi meets starfield simulation with an interactive & organic twist.

Morild. A fibre-optic specular ‘light tapestry’ by Astrid Krogh.

Cindermedusae - Marcin Ignac
Cindermedusae – Marcin Ignac

Intricate cityscape drawing/collages – Thomas Bayrle. NDR, 1977 & Yamagucchi, 1981

On the vacuous and empty nature of finance & banking. Jill Syliva’s ledgers and balance sheets.

Detektors.org – The rhythms of electromagnetic emissions, their psychogeophysics and micrological auscultation.

Double Room / Blauwe stad – Karin van Dam & other scaled-up sculptural installs.

Celestial Subway Lines/Salvaging Noise – Ken Jacobs. Nervous Magick Latern performances with John Zorn at Ubu.com.

Neusilber – A landscape of metal palm trees by David Zink Yi.

Human generated landscapes in SW Florida with a predominantly printed circuit board aesthetic.

The End of Perspective – article on abstractive disorientation with mirrors.