Selected Tweets #23: Polyhedra, Primes, Pathogens.

Selected tweets from my Twitter stream @MrPrudence [Summer 2014] with occasional addition annotations:

Going Into Detail - Peter RichardsonGoing Into Detail – Peter Richardson

Going Into Detail – Peter Richardson on metaphorical and geological boundaries illustrated with height-map globes.

Basrah Zoom – Jonathan Cecil’s satellite imaging data of geologic & urban structures reconfigured into a planetoid.

Mathematical Equations as Architectonic Forms. Bldgblog on the Altgeld Math Model Collection.

Max Brückner’s Vielecke und Vielflache, from 1900, includes plates of intricate models of complex polyhedra.

Non-Sequitur. Anthony MoreyNon-Sequitur. Anthony Morey

Poema de los Números Primos. Esther Ferrer’s geometric drawing configurations generated using prime number sequences.

100 Drawings. Alex Maymind’s quasi-scientific architectural classification systems.

Non-Sequitur. Anthony Morey’s series of plan abstractions with volumetric explorations and axonometric matrices.

titlePlate from Vielecke und Vielflache – Max Brückner

Nanoinjector. The tiny nanoeasthetics of DNA sequence transfer from BYU.

Outbreak. Rogan Brown’s hand cut paper reliefs of cells, pathogens & neurons.

On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces. Ben Fry visualizing the unfolding of Darwin’s ideas

Iannis Xenakis – Music and Architecture: Architectural Projects, Texts, and Realizations [PDF].

PolytopePolytope – Iannis Xenakis

The Optics of Ibn Al-Haytham [c935-1039]. Where the earliest known correct schematic of the human visual system is to be found. [PDF].

Jean François Niceron’s La Perspective Curieuse [1638]. An early treatise on perspective distortion [Plates are to be found at the end of the book].

Capsules of time and space. Drafts/drawings of early soviet spacecraft interiors [1965-66].

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The Schematics of the Light Prop – László Moholy-Nagy & Stefan Sebök

The Mechanics of the Light PropThe Mechanics of the Light Prop – László Moholy-Nagy & Stefan Sebök [1930]

László Moholy-Nagy’s Light Prop for an Electric Stage, a kinetic light sculpture device capable of real-time expanded cinema projection, is well known and widely documented online. Lesser known are a series of associated drawings which were used as plans for the device, some of which were made in collaboration with the engineer Stefan Sebök. It was Sebök who was actually responsible for the design and build of the Light Prop mechanism. The plans for the Light Prop present graphic abstractions of the exploded view schematic where arrows indicate the movement of gear mechanisms and notate the choreography of the machine’s internal parts. The cubist-like multiple and distorted perspectives confound the positions and relationships of the components, perhaps intimating on the way in which light and shadow would be expanded, refracted, deflected and compressed by the device itself. The plans indicate Moholy-Nagy’s intentions to ‘produce a great range of shadow inter-penetrations and simultaneously intercepting patterns in a sequence of slow flickering rhythm’ with ‘discs made of polished metal slotted with regularly spaced perforations, and sheets of glass, celluloid and screens of different media’.

Construction Scheme for Light DisplayConstruction Scheme for Light Display – László Moholy-Nagy [1922-30]

According to a passage in The Visual Mind II, edited by Michele Emmer, Moholy-Nagy never actually used the term ‘Light Space Modulator’ to describe his optokinetic device even though this term is more commonly used than ‘Light Prop’ in literature. Moholy-Nagy did, however, use the title ‘Space Modulator’ for a number of drawings, collages and works for some time after Light Prop was finished, and until his death in 1946.

Light Prop - László Moholy-NagyLight Prop – László Moholy-Nagy

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Laplacian Sigils – William George Armstrong’s Electrical Discharge Experiments [1899]

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge ExperimentsWilliam George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments [1899]

The colour prints created by The Autotype Company to accompany William George Armstrong’s lectures and papers in the late 1800’s are probably some of the earliest electrical discharge visualisations created and widely disseminated. Their earthy colours and explosive textures are the result of applying an electrostatic discharge to a plate dusted with lead and sulphur. In this literal alchemical transaction, materials are transformed into delicately fine Laplacian aggregations known as Lichtenberg figures. The images were tellingly annotated by Armstrong in a paper presented at the Royal Society in 1899:

‘I have already spoken of electricity as organised motion, and we have here an example of it carried apparently to the verge of life […] we see arborescent forms, showing trees and undergrowth, in which stems, branches, and leaves find their approximate representatives […] even the root is indicated lying at the foot of the stem’

Fittingly, Armstrong used two materials strongly associated with alchemical practice and symbolism. So these fractal figures might be seen as sigils of a real elemental transmutation of fire, earth and metal governed by a process of self-organisation. In the computational realm electrical discharge patterns can be accurately modelled by applying stochastic procedures to Diffusion Limited Aggregation and Laplacian Growth algorithms.

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

William George Armstrong Electrical Discharge Experiments

Images discovered at: Prints.royalsociety.org

2 Responses to “Laplacian Sigils – William George Armstrong’s Electrical Discharge Experiments [1899]”

  1. Poulomi writes:

    Thank you – wonderful prints and history.

  2. Laplacian Sigils – William George Armstrong | polklemme.blogs writes:

    […] via dataisnature […]

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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

4 Responses to “Agates – Time Compiled”

  1. David Haworth writes:

    It’s 4:30am & I’m writing a chapter of my PhD on Caillois & The Writing of Stones. I take a quick break, open up Facebook on my phone & there you are with your “lithic printouts”… Inspiring & beautiful.

  2. paul writes:

    Thanks for the comment David.

    A PhD chapter on the Writing of Stones, now that is something I’d like to read. In fact I am curious about the subject of your PhD in general? You probably noticed the link to a previous post on Caillois’s amazing book.

    http://www.dataisnature.com/?p=1990

  3. David Haworth writes:

    Hi Paul,

    Yes the Caillois post was my introduction to your amazing website. My PhD is in its early stages, but I’m looking at the idea of nature as an artist in people like Caillois, Haeckel, and some writers. Ideas of anthropomorphism, algorithms and apophenia abound. I will be looking through dataisnature very carefully for inspiration!

  4. Recent reads. | perry street palace writes:

    […] Agates – Time Compiled. Prudence, P., Dataisnature (Nov. 2014). [Ooooh. Pretty. -Ed.] […]

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Ten

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 archive.org, 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].

3 Responses to “Ten”

  1. Guy writes:

    Belated congrats on 10 years of Dataisnature, Paul. I really need to visit this site more often, as there’s always something new and interesting to read here. I like your paragraph (below the Hinton tesseract image) on the evolving use of code and the resultant drifting focus of this blog. Keep up the good work.

  2. paul writes:

    Guy, and a belated thanks for your comment. The ‘resultant drifting focus of this blog’ is, I imagine, one of the main reasons it has managed to stay alive for 10 years. Every few months I think ‘that’s enough’ but then I find something new that I want to share.

  3. John writes:

    Thanks for sharing so much. I’ve just rediscovered your site at a particularly opportune time for me. There is so much excellent stuff here. Even if you never update your blog again, you’ve given me heaps to think about.

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Where Time Becomes Nervous: John Mcphee’s Annals of the Former World

Annals of the Former WorldPanorama from Point Sublime [Grand Canyon] – Printed by Julius Bien [1882]

If you want to know about Protoliths, Abyssoliths, Xenoliths and Tectonic Knots, of index fossils, totemic assemblages of ophiolitic Serpentine, of erratic stones and aesthonspheric calligraphy, geochronology, abyssal plains and gravity maps, you might do well to journey with John Mcphee over the coarse of a few decades, and four books, while he traveled with a handful of distinguished geologists across the 50th parallel of the US. His epic account of the geology of North America, in Annals of the The Former World, contains 4.5 billion years of geological history crammed into the 900 pages. Mcphee is well-know as a master stylist. His drama of lithology and stratigraphy relies on the clever interplay between the story the Earth and the life stories and anecdotes of those geologists who helped him unpack the annals of deep time. The author melds metaphors between micro-time and deep time instinctively, juggling time scales of the vast and minute to bring into focus what geologists call the ‘bigger picture’. While examining a rock at the Rawlins Uplift he says ‘we were looking at moments of over half the existence of the Earth… In 1/250th of a second a camera could capture 26 hundred million years’. Later ‘The difference between a human lifetime and 400 Million years would seem to be the difference between time incomprehensible and time infinitesimal, but what brings them together is that the smaller unit – bridging in the mind the intervening aeons – can imagine and virtually see the larger one.

Annals of the Former WorldEngraving of the unconformity at Jedburgh from Theory of the Earth Volume 1 – James Hutton [1795]

The concept of geological deep time was coined by the Scottish Geologist James Hutton, in his treatise Theory of the Earth, in the late 18th century after geochemical inspection of rock in Scotland and Scandinavia. Up until his discovery the religious-centric world-view held that the age of the planet was a few thousand years old. Stratigraphic signatures and compositions of rock gave rise to Hutton’s revised estimation of hundreds of millions years – still quite a way short of the actual 4.54 billions years we now know it to be.

According to James Hall, who popularised Hutton’s work, ‘the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far into the abyss…We found no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of end’. Stephen Jay Gould, in his book Times Arrow, Times Cycle commented that these swathes of time are so immense that we can only understand them as metaphors in relation to the time humans have existed in the planet.

Mcphee’s writing is poetic whist still retaining scientific rigour, his stories seem to disclose an immensely slow but purposeful unfolding of tectonic history. We travel with him exploring road-cuts in order to better understand the orchestration of mountain ranges by reading backwards through time. The author reverse engineers the cryptography of geology by examining index fossils, by separating gneisses from schists, and by exploring more recent techniques such as geochronology, thermochronology and acromagnetic mapping.

Annals of the Former WorldGeological Cross Section of Colorado – Josiah Edward Spurr [1898]

‘The writing of Stratigraphy is a cryptic one, but before you have crossed the range you have seen rock of such varied ages and provenance that time itself becomes nervous – Pilocene, Miocene, Eocene, Jurassic here, Triassic there… it seems random, a collector of relics of varied ages’. He reminds us that ‘Nature is messy, don’t expect it to be uniform or consistent’. Lithographic time gaps confuse matters and the cooling of magma can corrupt the chronology, but here and there is some order and the writings of these rocks can decoded to show their past and future intentions. ‘Corrugations of abyssal plains read indefinitely as extending barcodes’ and ‘The structure of the sea floor is a simple set of tree rings…..carrying easily decipherable magnetic structures’. Or according to Anita Harris, his traveling geologist companion in one section, ‘Rocks are books, they have a different vocabulary and alphabet, but you can learn to read them…they tell you about temperature and pressure…the colours, grain, sizes and the ripples give you clues to the energy of the environment of deposition. As you ascend mountains you descend through the layers of the ancient oceans. A road cut to a geologist is the Rosetta Stone to a Egyptologist’.

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Robert le Ricolais’s Tensegrity Models – ‘The Art of Structure is Where to Put the Holes’

Robert le RicolaisAutomorphic Compression Member & Automorphic Tube Model – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le Ricolais’s wire-frame tensegrity structures may well stand as sculptural artworks in their own right. His finely crafted forms appear to have a remarkable lightness, insinuating objects of flight, part kite, part airship skeleton. Their balanced forms create a meditative aerodynamic aesthetic, implying propulsion or rotation. Some, throwing their graphic wire-frame shadows into space, defy gravity through their nearly-not-thereness.

Robert le RicolaisDouble Parabolic Trihex Bridge for the Skyrail – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisDouble Parabolic Trihex Bridge for the Skyrail – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisFunicular Polygon of Revolution Lemniscate – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisAleph Bridge – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisFunicular Polygon of Revolution Pseudosphere – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisOmega Tower for 19 Power Lines – Robert le Ricolais

The models were brought to light in the mid 90’s by one of Ricolais previous students, professor Peter McCleary, for an exhibition of the architects works. They had been grounded and captive in various storerooms for over 20 years. Ricolais [1894-1977], like Buckmister Fuller, was interested in structural morphology defined by tensional integrity of natural structures – the ubiquitous soap bubble and sea shell. Ricolais ‘fantasized of going inside a rope to find a new way to realize his central vision of zero weight and infinite span’ Rather than the accretion of ideas to layer complex forms of analysis, Ricolais preferred to work in the opposite direction, simulating the Buddhist mindset – ‘the art of structure is where to put the holes’.

Robert le RicolaisPolyten Bridge – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisRe-tensionned Monkey Saddle – Robert le Ricolais

Robert le RicolaisStarhex Dome – Robert le Ricolais

Related Posts:
Spatiologies – Vittorio Giorgini
Yuri Avvakumov – Agitarch Structures: Reconfiguring Utopia
The Architectural Fantasies of Iakov Chernikhov
Drop City – Colonizing consciousness with abodes of Truncated Icosorhombic Dodecahedra

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Selected Tweets #22: Sonic Cosmogonies, Sculptural Cartography, Aeolian Speculation….

Noclip Urban Blocks - AlephographNoclip Urban Blocks – Alephograph

Selected tweets from my Twitter stream @MrPrudence [Oct 2013 – April 2014], with occasional addition annotations:

Magical-contamination collects and curates microbiological aesthetics and bacteriopoetics.

Mechanical Seizure – Minsu Kim. Bio-geometric space of electronic components simulates ‘life-like impressions.’

Drawing Machine – Robert Twomey. Precision-controlled CNC device programmed to ‘draw’ technical diagrams.

Typestracts – Dom Sylvester Houédard. Concrete poetry from the ‘cosmic typewriter’ of a Benedictine monk.

Drawing Machine – Robert TwomeyDrawing Machine – Robert Twomey

Xenakis Polytopes: Cosmogonies in Sound and Architecture. Architectural diagrams & mathematical notation.

Tintinnabuli Mathematica – Guy Burkin is programming Arvo Pärt’s Tintinnabuli method. Listen here.

Magnetophone – Aaron Sherwood. Sound sculpture uses electromagnetic fields to generate guitar drones.

An Acoustic Lyrical Mechanism – Basmah Kaki. Speculative therapeutic Aeolian mechanism situated in an Indian quarry.

magicalContaminationMagical Contamination


Graphic scores of Leon Schidlowsky
– who experimented with tonal concepts. (atonal, aleatorical & graphic notation)


The Impossible Music of Black Midi
– midi compositions comprising of several millions notes. A nihilistic hedonism of musical notation!


Sculptural Cartography
: How the Marshall Islands inhabitants used stick charts to map the waves.

Time of the Empress – Aziz + Cucher. Multiscreen architectures ‘rise into ruin’ after being built.

Mechanical Seizure – Minsu KimMechanical Seizure – Minsu Kim

Greg Smith on Mathew Biederman’s Serial Mutations. Necker cubes, isometric illusion & crystallographic indeterminacy

Gaudism – Echoechonoisenoise. Generative/handmade hybrid process to create organic & alien centenary structures.

Noclip Urban Blocks & Colocation Blocks. Isometric fragmentations from Alephograph

The Metropolis of Tomorrow – Hugh Ferriss [1929]. Future of the city: Monolithic skyscrapers and rooftop aerodromes.

One City – Will InsleyOne City – Will Insley

Onecity: Non Utopian Monumental City – Will Insley’s drawings/plans/collages of an immense imaginary city.

Sonia Sheridan was worshiping the glitch in 1982 with EASEL & Cromemco Z2D – Stretching the Grid.

N-light Membrane – Numen. Deforming recursive reflections via flexible foil membranes

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David Wade’s ‘Fantastic Geometry’ – The Works of Wenzel Jamnitzer & Lorenz Stoer

Plate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] - Lorenz StoerPlate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] – Lorenz Stoer

David Wade’s ‘Fantastic Geometry – Polyhedra and the Artistic Imagination in the Renaissance’ is a fascinating entrée into the works of group of artists who published books containing enigmatic and fantastical depictions of geometric forms in Germany during the mid-sixteenth century. Densely illustrated publications by Wenzel Jamnitzer, Johannes Lenker and Lorenz Stoer, combine pedagogical instruction on the nature of perspective drawing with idiosyncratic renderings of symmetrical and complex polyhedra. The book explores many of the influences that converged to trigger this ‘movement’, which centered around Nuremberg, and contains many illustrations from the original manuscripts.

Plate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] - Lorenz StoerPlate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] – Lorenz Stoer

Plate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] - Lorenz StoerPlate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] – Lorenz Stoer

Plate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] - Lorenz StoerPlate from Geometria et perspectiva [1575] – Lorenz Stoer

Wenzel Jamnitzer, printmaker and inventor of the Perspectograph, equated the five regular platonic solids with the five Greek vowels – this lead him to create meticulous variations of complex polyhedra relating to the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet. His Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] synthesises a metaphorical and symbolic alphabet of complex solids in increasing complexity based on this personalised ideographic system of correspondences.

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Lorenz Stoer presents a series geometric fantasies in his Geometria et perspectiva [1575] where scenes are composed of architectonic structures strewn in landscapes of ruins and overgrown forests. Wade comments that these apocalyptic landscapes, devoid of people, may bare testament to the era of the plague which would have been in full swing during both Stoer’s and Jamnitzer’s lifetimes – infact Jamnitzer succumbed to the disease in 1585. Both Jamnitzer’s and Stoer’s books were sufficiently popular to be pirated during their lifetimes.

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Plate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] - Wenzel JamnitzerPlate from Perspectiva Corporum Regularum [1568] – Wenzel Jamnitzer

Perhaps the painter of ‘metaphysical’ landscapes Giorgio de Chirico might have been influenced by Stoer’s work as his scenes also deal with a kind of ‘melancholy of the eternal’ as represented in the imagination by pure mathematical forms and geometric archetypes. In de Chirico’s works people are also conspicuous by their absence, being replaced by draughtsman tools and chalked diagrams. It is hard to tell if the emptiness had just occurred, or if the people have been lost for many years, only leaving behind, in the words of Lautréamont in Maldoror ‘the glittering revelations of eternal axioms and hieroglyphs which existed before the universe and will remain after the universe has passed away’.

Thanks to Rohit Gupta for alerting me to ‘Fantastic Geometry’

Further Reading & Viewing:

Wenzel Jamnitzer’s Perspectiva Corporum Regularum online

Bibliodyssey on the work of Wenzel Jamnitzer (plus a Flickr set of plates)

The Perspective Treatise in Ruins: Lorenz Stoer, Geometria et perspectiva, 1567 – Christopher S. Wood

Lorenz Stoer: Geometria et perspectiva (Colour Scans)

Bibliodyssey on the work of Lorenz Stoer

Related Posts:

John A. Hiigli – Layering the Isotropic Vector Matrix
Primal Generative: Form Constants & Entoptic Geometry

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Encoding Process – Robert J Lang’s Origami Crease Patterns

Salt Creek Tiger Beetle - opus 484 - Robert J LangSalt Creek Tiger Beetle – opus 484 – Robert J Lang

Origami crease patterns, plans containing intersecting lines, symmetries, and spatial subdivisions, are mnemonic guides of encoded information used to create complex origami forms. The patterns created using partially personalised syntaxes, might also be seen as algorithms. These plans might be further reduced by representing them with lines of (drawing) code – code which would represent a concept or process as much as an object or design. In this sense they are similar to Richard Halprin’s concept of a Motation – a notation or score for dynamic movement of form. Robert J Lang explores the potential for crease patterns standing on their own right as artworks and having meaning beyond their utility where ‘tenuous, or even non-existent connections to their associated folded form can be perceived’ acting as a form of geometric Rorschach. ‘Showing every fold line in the model would be a dense, unmanageable clutter’ – often significant lines are selected for their aesthetic value. This results in a nested system of procedurality where aesthetics are constrained by functional visual systems for processing a three dimensional aesthetic.

Hermit Crab - Robert J LangHermit Crab – Robert J Lang

Dragonfly varileg - opus 453 - Robert J LangDragonfly varileg – opus 453 – Robert J Lang

Longhorn Beetle - opus 470 - Robert J LangLonghorn Beetle – opus 470 – Robert J Lang

Locust - Robert J LangLocust – Robert J Lang

Mule Deer - opus 421 - Robert J LangMule Deer – opus 421 – Robert J Lang

Red-Tailed Hawk - opus 474 - Robert J LangRed-Tailed Hawk – opus 474 – Robert J Lang

Silverfish - opus 449 - Robert J LangSilverfish – opus 449 – Robert J Lang

Tree Frog - opus 280 - Robert J LangTree Frog – opus 280 – Robert J Lang

Treehopper - opus 256 - Robert J LangTreehopper – opus 256 – Robert J Lang

Violist - opus 437 - Robert J LangViolist – opus 437 – Robert J Lang

Crease patterns, by there requirement to encode precise information, are aesthetically reverse constrained so that a variety of interesting geometric sub-patterns arise resembling Voronoi diagrams, crystal growth or printed circuit board configurations. These constraints often generate well balanced compositions combining territories of strict symmetry with more random structures. We might also be reminded of painters of minimalist geometric form as well as Op art.

Related:
Lawrence Halprin’s Motations & Ecoscores
The Generative Song & Sound Pattern Matrixes of the Shipibo Indians
Paul Sharits: Declarative Mode [Against the Tyranny of Preconception]
Simon Katan – Cube with Magic Ribbons

One Response to “Encoding Process – Robert J Lang’s Origami Crease Patterns”

  1. Len Lancaster writes:

    Remarkable pictures but what size are the specimens and how are the rocks processed to reveal the landscapes?

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