jennyzha – Looking Outwards 02

IBM’s Watson collaborated with Grammy Award-winning producer Alex Da Kid to create a “cognitive song.” I thought this was a really cool project since you don’t really associate music with artificial intelligence. Nonetheless, looking a little bit deeper you realize that the incorporation of Watson actually provided for even more opportunity as it uncovered unknown inspiration for artists.

To work with Watson, Watson first had to be fed millions of unstructured data points into emotional insights that would help create a new kind of music. To do so, Watson analyzed millions of songs, lyrics, and five years of natural language texts that would ultimately help to teach Watson what made a “good” song.

One large initiative Alex Da Kid wanted was to foster a deeper connection with is audience. Thus, Watson was taught the most significant cultural themes, using Watson Tone Analyzer to read news articles, blogs and tweets to find out what people felt about them. Analyzing years’ worth of popular music, Watson Tone Analyzer API read and ultimately created its own lyrics; while Cognitive Color Design Tool analyzed album art to create their song’s album art. Finally, Watson Beat looked at the composition of songs to generate a fully immersive experience for Alex da Kid.


Carolyn L. Kane’s book written in 2014, Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code, fleshes out the phenomena of how color existed in the past and how human understanding of color continues to change today. I admire the interdisciplinary approach the book takes. It discusses established philosophical and scientific ideas about color and newer technological approaches to color. Her novel breaks boundaries that say color should be a certain way. For instance, blue is a cool color and red is a warm color. Kane shows her readers that this statement can be false. Some key ideas about harmony and balance between colors were based off of nature and artists deemed them correct. However, in science there are times that blue is the warm color and red is the cool color (bunsen burners and stars). Kane did not create the algorithms, but she explores the algorithms of synthetic colors used in today’s technology in her novel.  link    


Variable Face

//Daphne Lee
//15-104::1 (9:30am)-Section D

var eyeSize = 20;
var faceWidth = 200;
var faceHeight = 200;
var faceInnerW= 150;
var faceInnerH= 150;
var nosePosX=50;
var nosePosY= 20;
var blush= 30;

function setup() {
    createCanvas(480, 640);

function draw() {
    //head outside
    background(255, 230, 238);
    fill(155, 155, 155);
    ellipse(width / 2, height / 2, faceWidth, faceHeight);

    ellipse(width / 2 - 40, height / 2, faceInnerW/1.5,  faceInnerH);
    ellipse(width / 2 + 40, height / 2, faceInnerW/1.5,  faceInnerH);
    ellipse(width / 2, height / 2 +43, faceInnerW/1.5 +25,  faceInnerH/1.7);

    var eyeLX = width / 2 - faceWidth * 0.25;
    var eyeRX = width / 2 + faceWidth * 0.25;
    ellipse(eyeLX, height / 2, eyeSize + 20, eyeSize + 20);
    ellipse(eyeRX, height / 2, eyeSize + 20, eyeSize + 20);

    //corner white eyes
    ellipse(eyeLX-9, height / 2 -17, eyeSize/1.5, eyeSize/1.5);
    ellipse(eyeRX-9, height / 2 -17, eyeSize/1.5, eyeSize/1.5);

    fill(255, 204, 204);
    ellipse(width/2 -50, height/2 +21, blush, blush/2);
    ellipse(width/2 +50, height/2 +21, blush, blush/2);

    fill(255, 204, 0);
    ellipse(width/2, height/2 + 20,nosePosX, nosePosY);


function mousePressed() {
    faceWidth = random(190, 250);
    faceHeight = random(190, 250);
    faceInnerW= random(150,165);
    faceInnerH= random(150,165);
    eyeSize = random(20, 30);
    nosePosX = random(30, 60);
    nosePosY = random(10, 40);
    blush= random (20,55);


I started with an idea of a penguin in my mind. It was hard for me to try to get the beak down since I wanted to use a triangular shape as the base but I ended up with an ellipse. It’s quite similar to my first project in the way I used the shapes and tried to overlap them in order to get another shape that I wanted. Overall, I think the end result wasn’t that bad.

Looking Outwards-02 Section D

Still from Dreamlines at Minute 1:46

This is a video of a capture of one of the search strings used to create Dreamlines, an interactive net-art work created by Leonardo Solaas in 2005. The search word for this particular video was “plum.”

Leonardo is both an artist and a programmer. He states that, “The user enters one or more words that define the subject of a dream he would like to dream.” At the same time, one cannot be sure whether they are observing their dream, or the computer’s dream and thought process. There is no definitive answer to this uncertainty, just as dreams can be very general and not make logical sense.

I find it beautiful that even an electronically generated work can mimic patterns in nature. This artwork reminds me of spider webs, bacteria, mold, and other organic forms. However I did notice that the more I picked out single curves and lines in the work, I became more aware of its unnaturalness. I realized that enjoyed it when I saw it as an organism rather than what looked like an imitation of a living thing.



//Anna Anderson
//Section D

var mouth = 15;
var nose = 10;
var eyes = 25;
var brows = 10;
var faceHeight = 230;
var faceWidth = 200;

function setup() {
  createCanvas(640, 480);

function draw() {
  background(130, 211, 168);

  fill(249, 231, 126);
  ellipse(320, 240, faceWidth, faceHeight);

  fill(240, 125, 140);
  ellipse(320, 315, mouth * 2, mouth)
  curveVertex(280, 290);
  curveVertex(300, 309);
  curveVertex(320, 316);
  curveVertex(340, 309);
  curveVertex(360, 290);

  triangle(315 - nose, 270, 320, 250 + nose, 325 + nose, 270);

  ellipse(275, 230, eyes, eyes * 1.5);
  ellipse(365, 230, eyes, eyes * 1.5);

  line(260 - brows, 180 + brows, 290, 180);
  line(350, 180, 400 - brows, 180 + brows);

function mousePressed() {

  mouth = random(5, 20);
  nose = random(5, 20);
  eyes = random(15, 35);
  brows = random(5, 20);
  faceHeight = random(220, 300);
  faceWidth = random(190, 250);

I really enjoyed creating this interactive face! I made many dumb errors in the course of creating it, but eventually it came together.


artist: ralf baecker
title: random access memory

Turmite algorithm (based on a two dimensional operating system)

Random Access Memory is based on a binary system where the robot tries to fill up the system with as many “1”s as possible without overloading the system (1, being stone). These sand grains are placed in algorithmic placements as to create a sense of controlled randomness. It interests me to see the joining of simplicity and complexity through this project. The sand placement system is a fairly simple algorithm, however the result of the simple function is a complex grouping of grains spread out neatly in a disc formation that is ever-changing.

The artist, Ralf Baecker, is an artist that works to connect and intersect art, science, and technology. Through his works we are able to see both a technological aspect that shows the advancement of humanity, as well as traditional notions that keep us in touch with our history. In Random Access Memory, there is a mix of the two timelines which, I believe, brings us to ponder about how we should we advancing as people.

Jihee Kim (Section D)– Looking Outwards 02

The Digital Grotesque II

Digital Grotesque II – Grotto Fragments from Digital Grotesque on Vimeo.

Digital Grotesque II is a 3D printed grotto that was assembled in 2017, after about 2 years of designing and printing individual parts. The algorithmic architectural structure created by the architect Michael Hansmeyer is known for its intricate details and plethora of geometries that form the architecture. The project is a phenomenal piece that through its complexity captivates the viewer and bestows an unparalleled experience. The project is made of 7 tons of 3D printed sandstone. For its size, it is usual for such projects to be dull and rather lofty, but Digital Grotesque II defeats such a common notion with its details completely generated by computational design and algorithms.

The 3D Printed Details in the Columns

From the most minute details to the whole form are entirely made through algorithms in the Digital Grotesque. Although the specific divisional ratios are not specified, the project was generated through subdivisions. As you can see in the video directly below, different division ratios allow for nearly infinite possibilities, hence the dynamic, mind-blowing design of the project. Although the algorithms are surely organized and planned, the endless variations bestow an element of “randomness”.

Hansmeyer’s computational architecture is deeply rooted in perspectives and perceptions. The specific, single divisional algorithm that he uses reflects these concentrations. The algorithm creates interesting, engaging topographies that are subject to interpretation by the users. The method itself does not involve randomness, but the output does, so the author of the project is anticipating the public to be able to physically experience his work and add their personal thoughts. This trend is also parallel to the continuity of Digital Grotesque II. Even the smallest details acknowledgeable and are part of the whole enclosure and form the experience of the project’s users.

The Digital Grotesque II definitely explores the potential in computational architecture and defies the notion that technology is not advanced enough to articulate intricate details. In fact, the specific project clearly shows how algorithms and 3D printing skills can actually produce details that traditional methods could not while maintaining quality and high resolution.

More information on the Digital Grotesque II can be found on its website:


Additionally, more information on Michael Hansmeyer’s computational architecture can be found on his website:

ENwandu-Section D-Looking Outwards-02


3D Visualization of ‘Mydoom Worm’

‘Malwarez’ is a series of visualizations of worms, viruses, trojans and spyware code. The project is made possible through the development of a program by Alex Dragulescu, which allows him to track the API calls, memory addresses and other subroutines of the disassembled code. The program analyzes the disassembled code; mapping their frequency, grouping and density input into the algorithm, which then grows these virtual 3D organisms. My understanding of the algorithm is limited, but I think the patterns and rhythms recorded are what influence the organism, making each one unique. I truly admire the creativity behind such a project: Who thinks of  modelling a computer virus in 3D, and actually does it? Additionally, his projects are a true integration of art and technology, and in some ways, moves past that. The Malwarez project, in the most literal sense reveals the artistic potential of technology. The project is admirable because it kind of forces the audience to move past the ideology focusing on the ‘art of technology’ into the realm of technology as art, and vice versa.

His projects span multiple computational domains, so I suppose the algorithms involve mimic the complexity of the work he is doing as a designer, programmer, and visual artist. Malwarez gives these invisible coded threats a face, while also providing captivating visuals for things no one wants to deal with.

rkondrup-Looking Outwards-02

Alex Dragulescu developed a program which analyzes the content of spam emails and translates the variety of text patterns and keywords into three-dimensional architectural models which appear to have ‘grown’ from the base form of a cube. I particularly admire this project because it uses spam, something which is generally perceived as bothersome digital flotsam, and translates its contents into a work of digital art. The idea that words which are worthless in one form can produce very interesting meanings when passed through a particular algorithm is very exciting, and I feel that this project, as well as the columns made by the algorithms of Michael Hansmeyer, are both great examples of the potentialities that coding provides in the search for new spatial configurations. This sort of process of making something valuable from what many would consider digital ‘noise’ is a concept i would like to further explore, and I am also very intrigued by the idea that a known algorithm can produce unanticipated results which seem to mimic creativity. I think that the creative possibilities of this sort of programming is very promising and that it could change the way that designers work in the future.


Created in 2002 by Jared Tarbell, Lola Brine, Corey Barton, and Wesley Venable, Moonlight is an interactive visualization of Beethoven’s No. 14 Sonata. As the audience member walked through the installation, colored blocks of varying opacity would display the sonata, allowing one to both see and hear the music being played. What I really admire about this project was not only the combination of computer generated colors and shapes, but also the fact that the user could modify these aspects of the installation as well. It really displays the power of computer science in art, as well as combing user experience and interactivity to create something truly musical. The creators had taken a MIDI file of the sonata, which was then compressed into an MP3 as well as converted in XML with the use of C++.  By using an actual recorded performance, the creator’s ensure that, although the installation itself was generated, the integrity of the intial performance was maintained.

 The first movement of the sonata, rendered into four sections.

The full sonata, displayed by using the varying degrees of opacity and color.