Wall painted animation.

Wall painted animation.This animation called MOTU, is an amazing piece of work, using series of painstakingly created continuous paintings on walls and sidewalks, and playing with how we experience time by utilizing stitched videos etc..The artist is BLU.

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mathematics as a basis for art

Last evening, during one of our coffee-shop meanderings, I started thinking about generating patterns from a string of numbers, and see if a more complex “artlike” graphic comes out of it. Granted “artlike” is subjective, in this case, I’m taking it to mean if more than 50% of the people who view it will think it was deliberately created by a human artist using pen/brush strokes.

There’s been a lot of work around pattern generation using cellular automata, and also sound/noise generation using string of numbers.. This is my attempt to mimic that process from the grounds up.

To generate these larger patterns, we can start with three basic grouping of things.. numbers, glyphs and the length or width of the finished graphic.

For the numbers, one could programmatically come up with a “number generator” that can spit out a list of numbers following some algorithm that’s replicable.. (like a fibonacci series, or pascals triangle or some fractal function)

For the glyphs, one would have to come up with a basic set of graphic representations for the numbers.
One simple way would be to re-represent the individual numbers by some other thing like “-” for 1, “|” for 2, etc. the problem with that is multiple digit numbers will end up producing larger numbers of glyphs that may affect the length/width of the end graphic.

One could take that further by creating a transformation function, that takes a number from the number_generator and tranforms it to a glyph of fixed width based on some algorithm.

Then one would have to have a lenth/width generator that spits out the length (in repetions, how many glyphs) and the width of the graphic. one could also just generate one dimension either the length or the width, and keep the other open, so you could keep adding glyphs row by row or column by column. The length width generator could also depend on different inputs, like the max number of numbers generated by the number generator (or say, the weather pattern currently like the ambient temperature of one’s location)

Some fun things to try would be what we see in the real world..
for number generators, we could use the human genome, gene sequences mapped to numeric representations.. one could try base 4 (ATGC) and convert it to base 10 etc..

For glyph transformers one could use image thumbnails, say, map flickr images to numbers,

One could do the same with music (or sound -depending on what you call music). instead of glyphs, one would have a note generator, and instead of length/width, one could have length and scale or something like that.. then one could truly listen to the sound of nature

Lots of stuff out there on the net on this, just search for “algorithmic art” or “alorithmic music” or something like that..
There were even two links about it in today’s boing boing:
mathematical art
pi as music

life imitates art imitates life

Oscar Wilde once said Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life. I beg to differ. I think it’s more of a vicious circle (or a glorious circle, depending on how you look at it.) It’s an equal-opportunity borrowing situation. Life imitates art. Simultaneously art imitates life. Each feeds into the other, each repetition coming up with more complexity in the process.

Take movies for example. A certain movie may come up with a novel way of robbing a bank. The story writer did not come up with it in a vacuum. (S)he has access to volumes of prior art both fictional and biographical to base or build up the story on. (S)he just added a twist to it, albeit a novel one never encountered my anyone else before. Someone with a bank-robbin-itch sees the movie, thinks it’s a brilliant idea. Then (s)he proceeds to add a few of their own twists to it, maybe as simple as using different numbers of people, or something more advanced like adding a new technique to opening up the safe. The bank then proceeds to get robbed. (S)he may or may not end up getting caught. The story about the robbery then proceeds to get published. Thereby being consumed into the creative minds of millions of other people. Some of whom may be movie script-writers.

The movie “Firewall” was just released. I just read about a real-life robbery apparently inspired by the movie. I don’t know particulars about the actual robbery. What I am certain of is that someone will create another movie or a book, picking up particulars about that robbery and add details of their own. It would be fun to have this tracked and look at the results, like 20 years down the line. Maybe a good use of the cross-reference engine that I’ve been thinking about creating. More on that later.

This doesn’t just apply to movies though. It applies to all kinds of art. You just have to sit down and think through the art pieces you really like, read up on the history of that art or the biography of the artist. Eventually, I’m sure, you’ll find a link to something in real life that the art was inspired by. And eventually, you’ll find a link to something in real life that the art inspired. And so it goes.


text generators

I was thinking of writing a script that generates haiku using the wordnet corpus. Then link the haiku words to images from flickr based on tags, and presenting it in a comic book format.

I figured, being the lazy programmer, there must be hundreds of haiku generators on the web. There are some. I came across other types of text generators, even koan generators. There’s tons of name generators. There’s actually even a name generator generator which creates a custom name generator for you, and a blog that lists all kinds of generators. Go figure.

PS. the link that led me to the generator blog was the manhattan socialite name generator ughh..

bubble stickers

This guy went around collecting pictures of stuff that people had written on bubble stickers that he stuck to posters in and around New York City. Some of the posts are hilarious.

If there was a way to track when people write stuff on what posters, it might even be used to keep track of live memes.. as in what are a lot of people thinking at any particular instant.


As I was posting this, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing at the sheer ludicrousness of the exercise.
Here’s the “gandhrian” for your viewing pleasure.

The image:

The full image in all it’s colorful glory is available as a png file.

Also available as a paint.net file, if you are so inclined to bring out the gandhrian in you.
(paint.net is available for free at http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/