Archives for the Month of November, 2014

Agates – Time Compiled

Agates – Time CompiledAgate – Pascal Petit

The linear patterns in agates are a kind of Earth process data visualization, their intricate coloured bands, much like the tree rings in dendrochronology, are encoded recordings of palaeoclimatic environments, oscillating temperature and pressure events as well chaotic chemical interactions. The patterns are partly generated by self-organization through chemical feedback processes – a cybernetics of geology where fractal patterns appear as lithic printouts of non-linear dynamical chemical processes. Each band in these geological chaos diagrams represent a chemical reaction phase before it stabilises and shifts direction. Agate Patterns can be accurately modeled using fractal functions modulated with Brownian motion algorithms.

Agates – Time CompiledCrazy Lace Agate – Agatehill

Agates – Time CompiledSumatran Agate – Agatehill

Agates – Time Compiled Laguna Agate – Agatehill

Agates – Time Compiled Mexican Lace Agate – Agatehill

Thermal pulsing combined with the presence of iron and manganese metal oxides generate the rich colouration. Sometimes bacterial decomposition of organic matter consumes some of the iron oxide, modifying the reaction still further. Fitting then that some agates contain microbacterial-like patterns as if the stones themselves were bacterial colonies fossilized. Imagine an Agate playback device capable of translating these million year long earth recordings into intelligible data representing all those interacting processes.

Agates – Time Compiled Algorithmically generated ‘Musgrave Agate’

Agates – Time Compiled Czech Agate – Michal-Z

Agates – Time CompiledLaguna Agate – Agatehill

A selection of agate photographs can be found in this Flickr gallery

Related Posts:
The Writing of Stones – Roger Caillois
Hypogean Wildstyle: Dominik Strzelec’s Byzantine Geology
Banded Agates, Sonic Hydrodynamics & the BZ Reaction


Charles Howard Hinton Views of the Tessaract from ‘The Fourth Dimension’ – Charles Howard Hinton [1906]

At some point last month this blog moved beyond 10 years of existence (a good or bad thing? probably a bit of both). Dataisnature originally set out to examine generative artworks that borrowed algorithms developed by scientists to simulate and model nature – it’s in the blogs name. But if nature could be visualised by code, then by a process of reverse engineering, code and its visual signatures, can be extracted from nature. So Dataisnature began to explore the patterns of land formation resulting from the repeating doWhile loops of run-time planet Earth locked in deep geological time. It began to focus on metamorphic algorithms, aeolian protocols and hydrodynamic computations as a systematic way of observing and understanding Earth as spatio-temporal pattern making machine. Humans have also began to act out the encoded choreographies of algorithms to simulate code in the realm of traditional drawing and painting. They have adopted the mindset of the algorithm, became conduits of the conditional, and began to act out the rule set. And so this blog drifted out into the many related territories, offshoots and asides of parametric culture, both past and present.

Thanks for taking time to read Dataisnature over the years, your comments, and emails of support!

La Porte Monumentale  - René BinetLa Porte Monumentale – René Binet

Here are ten blog posts that either I or you have enjoyed a bit more than others – none of them are directly connected to generative art: Athanasius Kircher – Combinatorial Music, Augmented Face-Substitution & Projection Systems Illustrated in the 17th-Century, The Writing of Stones – Roger Caillois, Primal Generative: Form Constants & Entoptic Geometry, René Binet – Esquisses Décoratives & the Protozoic Façade of Porte Monumentale, Benjamin Betts – Geometrical Psychology, Lawrence Halprin’s Motations & Ecoscores, Drop City – Colonizing consciousness with abodes of Truncated Icosorhombic Dodecahedra, Nils Barricelli’s 5 Kilobyte Symbiogenesis Simulations and ‘Molecule Shaped Numbers’ – A Precursor to DNA Computing, The Generative Song & Sound Pattern Matrixes of the Shipibo Indians, The Melodies and Megaliths of Pseudocrystalline Terrains.

Friedrich Magnus SchwerdPlate from ‘Diffraction in the Fundamental Laws of Wave Theory Developed Analytically and Presented in Pictures’ – Friedrich Magnus Schwerd [1835]

It’s also a good time to mention the more regularly updated Dataisnature Facebook page which predominately links to online books, artifacts and ideas relating to the history of scientific visualisation, interspersed with occasional contemporary annotations. Here are ten Dataisnature Facebook entries, in reverse chronological order, of scientific and artistic works – all but two via the indispensable, and all beautifully illustrated: The Fourth Dimension – Charles Howard Hinton [1906], Descriptive Illustrated Catalogue of the Sixty-Eight Competitive Designs for the Great Tower for London – Fred. C. Lynde [1890], Desmids of the United States and list of American Pediastrum’ – Francis Wolle [1892], A Popular Account of Phosphorescent Animals and Vegetables Charles Frederick Holder [1887], A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism – James Clerk Maxwell [1873], Das Mineralreich in Bildern: Naturhistorisch-technische Beschreibung und Abbildung der wichtigsten Mineralien – Johann von Kurr Gottlob [1858], Ueber den Pollen – Carl Julius Fritzsche [1837], Theatrum Cometicum – Stanislaus Lubienietzki [1668], La Pratica di Prospettiva – Lorenzo Sirigatti [1596], Perspectiva Corporum Regularum – Wenzel Jamnitzer [1568].