Archives for the Month of January, 2014

Dataisnature – Facebook Stream [Readings]

The Time Machine - Lawrence LekScore for Music for Electric Metronome – Ichiyanagi Toshi. From An Anthology of Chance Operations edited by La Monte Young, Jackson Mac Law [1961]

The Dataisnature Facebook stream includes related supplementary material not included at this blog alongside links to new Dataisnature posts. There are regularly updated references to online documents, journals and papers in PDF format and links to items covering earth processes, cartography, musical notation and early geometry manuscripts, among many others.

Here is a selection of a few of the reading materials collected at the Facebook stream so far, all by way of the excellent, and essential, Monoskop Log:

The Writing of Stones – Roger Caillois [PDF]. Classic work on lithic scrying & stone pareidolia.

Purkinje’s Vision: The Dawning of Neuroscience – Nicholas J. Wade and Josef Brožek [PDF]. Explores the work of Johann Purkinje’s and his studies of visual perception [Pressure Figures, Galvanic Light Phenomena, Ganzfeld Effects, Light Halos, Afterimages, Visual Persistence and Entoptic Phenomena]

Notations, edited and compiled by John Cage [PDF]. This well-known book is made up of a large collection of graphical scores with text by 269 composers presented in alphabetical order.

An Anthology of Chance Operations edited by La Monte Young, Jackson Mac Law [PDF]. Explores chance operations, indeterminacy improvisation and includes diagrams and scores.

Lawrence Lek – The Time Machine

The Time Machine - Lawrence LekThe Time Machine – Lawrence Lek

Shortened fragment of an item originally written for Neural Magazine [Issue 46]

In 1893 the French symbolist and proto-science fiction writer Alfred Jarry proposed the term Pataphysics in his novel Dr Faustroll to describe a kind of speculative scientific enquiry, beyond metaphysics, enhanced by a surrealist predilection for absurdity. In 1899 Jarry published an article ‘How to Construct a Time Machine’ in which he describes, and provides detailed specifications, for the construction of such a machine made from Quartz ribbons, copper and ebony gyrostats, electric motors and magnets.

The Time Machine - Lawrence LekThe Time Machine – Lawrence Lek

Lawrence Lek, a speculative sculptor based in London, has created a kinetic device based on Jarry’s descriptions with freely moving gyroscopic parts in accordance with Jarry’s recipe. Video documentation of the piece overlays footage of the machine in motion with detailed blueprints of the sculpture itself. A narration describes both the construction of the device and instructions for its use for the purpose of moving backwards and forwards through time. Filmed, and post-produced, in strong contrasting black and white with aged-film blurring, accented with dramatic shadows, Lek has created a fictitious simulation of scientific documentation. The shadow play, compositional techniques, use of montage is reminiscent of the films that László Moholy-Nagy made of his Light Space Modulator in the early 1930’s. The strobing choreography of machine parts and dynamic light-play creates a mesmerising perceptual effect, transfixing temporality, in order to slow, or indeed, speed up time.

Previously at Dataisnature:
The Spatio-Lumino-Chronodynamic Towers & Sculptures of Nicolas Schöffer
Light Space Modulator – László Moholy-Nagy
Patabotany #1: [At the Libarynth]

Alfred Jarry texts:
The Exploits and Opinions of Dr Faustroll [PDF]
How to Construct a Time Machine [PDF]

Selected Tweets #20: Voxel Accretions, Logic Crystals & the Algorithmic Origins of Life

Nerve_Cells_CajalNerve Cells – Ramón y Cajal at Wunderkammer

Selected tweets from my Twitter stream: MrPrudence

RockGrowth RG5 & RockGrowth RG8 – Arik Levy. Polished mirror crystal sculptures.

Hagströmerbibliotekets Wunderkammer library of Medico-Historical illustrations. Botanical, Anatomical & Biological woodcuts, lithographs & prints.

Fluid simulation with pseudo Turing reaction diffusion [WebGL] – Felix Woitzel.

Accretor – Driessens & Verstappen. Accretion of small cubical voxels to generate 3D printed sculptures.

Game Of Life Extrusions – Paul Slocum. Baroque Lego-like constructions generated from Cellular Automata algorithms.

Taking Measures Across the American Landscape – James Corner & Alex Mclean. Map drawings & aerial schematics.

Creating Civilizations – Robert Strati. Architectural/mathematical/notational schematic fictions.

taking-measures-across-the-american-landscape-by-james-corner-and-alex-mcleanTaking Measures Across the American Landscape – James Corner & Alex Mclean


The Algorithmic Origins of Life – Walker & Davies [PDF]. On transitional DNA info systems as catalyst to emergence of life.

Fractal Cities: Geometry of Form/Function – Batty & Longley [PDF]. Urban self-similar morphologies.

Ars Combinatoria – Janet Zwelig. Mystical Systems, Procedural Art and the Computer.

Crystal Clear: Christine Wertheim interviews Shea Zellweger on logic alphabets & the crystallography of logic.

Ten Questions Concerning Generative Computer Art – Jon McCormack, Oliver Bown, Alan Dorin, Jonathan McCabe, Gordon Monro & Mitchell Whitelaw [PDF]. What’s it like to be a computer that makes art?

RockGrowth_RG5_Arik_LevyRockGrowth RG5 – Arik Levy

Minimal Surfaces as Self Organizing Systems – Vlad Tenu [PDF] Particle surfaces & tensegrity structures.

The Stone As A Witness Of Time – Rohip Gupta. ‘The etched memory of every single diurnal rotation of the planet’

Anthology of Chance Operations (1963) [PDF]. Chance operations, indeterminacy improvisation, diagrams and scores.

Ingrid Graz – Fluvial Terrains of Amorphous Carbon

 Amorphous Carbon
SEM photograph of amorphous carbon – Ingrid Graz

Ingrid Graz’s SEM photographs of amorphous carbon (diamond-like carbon) deposited on glass reveal microscopic fluvial forms suggesting earth-like geomorphologies. Folds and and mounds are created by the contraction of these elastomeric substrates at different rates due to temperature and pressure constraints. Additional micro-landforms are generated by particulate accretions.

Amorphous Carbon
SEM photograph of amorphous carbon – Ingrid Graz

Amorphous Carbon
SEM photograph of amorphous carbon – Ingrid Graz

Ingrid’s images of PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane), a elastomeric polymer, taken with an optical microscope suggest the lenses of her microscope have been modified and pointed towards the sky. The Laplacian filtered image below reveals the remnants of a distant astronomical body, perhaps sunlight reflected from the dust of an expanding comet, many of which contain amorphous carbon, as it approaches the Sun.

PDMS of Gold
Optical Microscope Image of PDMS of Gold – Ingrid Graz

PDMS of Gold
Optical Microscope Image of PDMS of Gold – Ingrid Graz

PDMS of Gold
Optical Microscope Image of PDMS of Gold – Ingrid Graz

PDMS of Gold
Optical Microscope Image of PDMS of Gold – Ingrid Graz


The Uncritical Solitonic Undulations of Barchan Sand Dunes
The Slot Valleys of Antelope Canyon as a Hydro-Dynamic Computation
Pathological Geomorphology | Extreme, Excessive & Bizarre Landforms

Jonathan McCabe – Instability Landscapes

Jonathan McCabe
20130529A – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe’s work specialises in the use of Alan Turing’s reaction diffusion equations to generate rich textural morphologies and dense landscape agglomerations. His recent work combines mutli-scale Turing instability, which generates the well known Turing patterns of spots and stripes, with fluid flow algorithms so that coloured areas predispose themselves to specific kinds flow. The smearing and mixing of patterns at different scales generates hyper saturated recursive colourations and shadows that together form lush expansive, and psychedelic, landscapes.

Jonathan McCabe
20130529B – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20130529U – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20130529H – Jonathan McCabe

That reaction diffusion patterns have been used to model natural forms in the name of algorithmic botany and biology is well noted. McCabe’s coloured compositions extend this kind of simulation into the realms of the poetic fantasy without removing the hard-edged diffusion artefacts. Think of Greg Egan’s artificial life simulator, the Autoverse, or the ‘Garden of Eden’ configuration, both revealed in his pan-computational fiction Permutation City. The latter is an infinitely-expanding, massively complex cellular automaton universe notably based on a fictional, Turing-complete cellular automaton known as TVC (“Turing/Von Neumann/Chiang”). McCabe’s lavas and rivulets fractalize through swirling mountain ranges to melt bifurcating icebergs into activator-inhibitor streams. The end result is refreshingly painterly for a such an overt computational process.

Jonathan McCabe
20130529J – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20130529N – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20130529Y – Jonathan McCabe

Monochromatic works, in a similar vein, reveal a deeper connection to the geological world. Self-similar desert topologies coalesce into geometric deposition structures. Stalagmites and stalactites imbue hypogean caves with filigree patterns. Part-bone part-plant systems infiltrate space to create ornamental geopathological lithographies.

Jonathan McCabe
20131130C – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20131203A – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20131203M – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe
20131203N – Jonathan McCabe

Jonathan McCabe previously at Dataisnature:

Jonathan McCabe – Biological Mandalas
Nervous States & Thunderbolt Pagodas

Related Posts:

Hypogean Wildstyle: Dominik Strzelec’s Byzantine Geology
Maj Plemnitas – Linkscale Thesis
aDiatomea – Sonically Superformed Micro-organisms