Looking Outwards 02


“Addition/Subtraction”, Robert Hodgin, C++, 2010

There is a flow field simulation, “Addition/ Subtraction”, by Robert Hodgin in 2010, that attracts me a lot when I was browsing many generative artwork. Compared to other programing art that I have looked at, Robert Hodgin’s works are the most artistics and aesthetics. Actually, the title and the image drew my attention towards it at first. When I also saw the image of the artwork, I kind of feel the addition and subtraction in it. Then, I looked into the explanation that describes the artwork. The idea that this flow field simulation is generated from C++ vectors and lists surprised me because at the first sight, I can’t figure out how to do such a digital art. Also, the amount of work made me admire me a lot. “It involves 20,000 particles which react to external forces and can be reborn locally if they should happen to stray too far”. So, if the programmer gives it an attractive force (gravity), those particles will be pulled together. If the programmer gives it a repulsive force, those particles will, on the other hand, be pushed away in the rotating motion, either clockwise or counterclockwise. The idea of using the beauty of force to create the feeling of addition and subtraction really gives meaning to this work, making it not only a program but an artwork.

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