For this week’s Looking Outward post, I am choosing to write about Daniel Eden’s Drawing With Numbers project. Eden has created many works of generative art, all created with Processing, p5.js, or OpenFrameworks.
Some of Eden’s pieces, with his captions describing the code behind them:
I selected this because I admired that he created these as a way to combat his inability to draw traditionally. He drew inspiration from designs he saw in the real world, then found a way to create them through his computer. I was attracted to the simplicity of the black and white patterns, and how he really focused on making the shapes emulate movement. I think it would be interesting to see the actual code behind it (versus just the pseudocode) to see how complex it is. Some of them seem doable to me, like the circle filled with dashes, while others seem much more complicated. I also found his blog post about how he began creating generative art interesting, because describes how he started out with p5.js which is what we are using in this course.
I was inspired by Herbert W Franke’s 1989 gallery entitled Homage A E.M. The thing that really got me inspired about this work was it’s blend of physical and digital. The series is based on real-time ballet movements, and then distorted and saturated for effect. I love when artists are inspired by the movement of the body, and blending dance and software had to be a particularly difficult challenge.
What’s exciting about this art is that it develops the primitive motion-capture software first developed by Eadweard Muybridge (whom Franke dedicated the gallery to). The performance involved both a live performer and a live software engineer, as he was motion-capturing the dancer and painting an electronic mirror image live on screen. This function reminds me of the “painting”-like command we learned in p5.js, where the computer continually draws a shape at a certain speed, following your mouse and leaving a trail.
Origami is the art of paper folding. Erik Demaine is a MIT professor and he has been super fascinated by origami folding and now curved paper structures. Under a collaboration with Tomohiro Tachi, Demaine incorporated his algorithms into Tachi’s Origamizer (2008), a freeware that generates origami to innovate new methods to create more complex origami that hadn’t been done before. They had a concept that proved any 3D object can be made from a single piece of paper. The computational process of turning that concept into reality took about 10 years since there were a lot of holes to patch and improvements to be made. Testing out the origami in reality was also a challenge since they had to take materials into account. These studies had a lot of future potential that can be applied to architecture on how complex buildings can be built using cheaper sheet material. I thought this project was interesting because I had to do a studio project that used origami folding and it was hard for me to visualize certain folds/shapes onto the software I was using. I also had a lot of problems with making the models from them because it wouldn’t bend the way I wanted it to. From what I learned, I can probably tell that the algorithm that he used, had to do with a lot of the adjacent vertices, edges, and also the movement along the folds.
Origami – Frederick Blichert on This Computer Scientist Can Turn Anything into Origami