Human Robots & Space-Filling Emotions

space-fill surface art
Invader Fractal- Jared Tarbell

David Szafranski makes paintings of a procedural nature recalling the textures and patterns of nature, more specifically cell biology and the rhizomatic mappings of plant growth. The painting Human_robot, for example, has a kind of root system with space-filling properties and the title implies the kind of robotic repetitive action which would be required to make such a work. It’s the human equivalent of a Diffusion Aggregation Limitation system – whereby particles in solution diffuse randomly until they move near to a piece of solid structure, at which point they come out of solution and form part of the aggregate resulting in dendritic structures. All of the works have a similar quality and evoke the idea of the human-computer in repetitive sub-routines crystallizing the work into existence.

Kuja rightly points out the connection between Captain_Freedom and the cellular oscillations of Eden, a large-scale installation piece by John McCormack dealing with a computational ecology currently on view at Art.ficial 3.0 (See previous post).

Messenger sees the human computer map out the surface of a cell-colony with degrees of order and randomness.

All of the works display space-filling properties -a side effect of the adventures of growth in natural systems. There are a whole family of space-filling curves in Math, including the Dragon and Hilbert Curve’s both of which are derived from L-system expansion. Compare again Szafranski’s Captain_Freedom and iterations of the Dragon curve to see the computed connectedness.

Space-fill is literally taken to another dimension with Daniel Erdely’s Spidron System, where alternating sequences of isosceles triangles applied to polyhedra in a particular folded arrangement exhibit specific spatial properties – an exotic 3d space-fill.

The Emotion Fractal is a recursive space filling algorithm using English words describing the human condition.’ Jared Tarbell’s piece nicely combines an element of narrative using a predefined set of English words with a recursive sub-divisioning process, and as he say’s ‘Continual variations on this theme took me to some weird places’ as the ‘Emotion Fractal tells a winding tale of human experience personal to each observer’. See also his ‘Invader Fractal’.

Click here for another article on procedural/process art

4 Responses to “Human Robots & Space-Filling Emotions”

  1. David Szafranski writes:

    Spot on analysis! Many of my images are based on a reaction-diffusion simulation I recently programmed. Captain Freedom is related to a space filling curve but is actually a simple truchet pattern. Of course, the paintings are just simulations of
    simulations ;-)

  2. paul writes:

    heh David, thanks for dropping by! I like this idea, you mention, of human simulations of computer simulations! – the human simulations, not surprisingly, end up less simulated and closer to the original process (nature) than the computation ones…. thanks for pointing out the Truchet patterns too.

  3. Kuja writes:

    Hi Paul,
    Nice you came across my analogy. I found Szafranski in a aggregator. Juice from Internet!

  4. Julie Christensen Pohlman writes:

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