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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