Minjae Jeong-LO-06


I was in Chris Harrison’s class, designing human centered software, last semester and he does many interesting and innovative projects that I find very valuable. One of my favorite information visualization project he did is the “color flower”, because even with such large amount of data, the visualization of the data is really easy to understand, and also the patterns and position of colors really create a theme that fits well with color. Chris is a very brilliant engineer and designer, that I think there are many things we can learn from him in both technical and design thinking process.

Fallon Creech-LookingOutwards-06

Physical product with geographical extrusions placed over sheet of associated randomized points

Artists Steffen Fielder and Jonas Loh explore user relationships with randomness in their “Known Unknowns” project. One user had the opportunity to interview the artists discovered “the designers explored the importance of randomness in our daily life but also investigated whether randomness actually exists or if it is just a lack of knowledge which makes things appear random to us.” To answer these thoughts, they utilized two different seeds to generate random numbers. The Random Event Harvester collects random numbers in an indicated environment and stores them with corresponding geographical information. The Cosmic Ray Detection Chamber uses the information from the Random Event Harvester to generate random values, which ultimately produce tiles with randomized extrusions extending from one face.

Two seeds (Random Event Harvester and Cosmic Ray Detection Chamber) pictured together

Shannon Ha- Project 06 – Abstract Clock


For this project, I wanted to explore how to use a variety of shapes to express time so I used a combination of lines, circles and squares in a rotating motion simulate the effect of a clock.

//Shannon Ha
//Section D
//Project 06

function setup() {
    createCanvas(400, 400);
    angleMode (DEGREES); //converts radians to degrees

function draw() {
    var H = hour();
    var M = minute();
    var S = second();

      background(H * 5,M,S); // background color changes according to time

      //small circle for hours
      for (var h = 0; h < H; h++){
        var r=150;
        var g=200;
        var b=50;

          translate (width/2, height/3 - 30);
          rotate((15*h)-0.25*360) //24 squares to count hours
          fill(r-H, g-M, b-S); //color alternates as time changes

      //bigger circle for minutes
        for(var m = 0; m < M; m++){
          var r=250;
          var g=130;
          var b=10;
            translate (width/2, height/2 + 50);
            rotate((6*m)+ 0.25 *360); //60 circles to count min
            fill(r+H, g+M, b+S); //color alternates as time changes
            ellipse(72, 0, 15, 15);

      //line seconds
        for(var s = 0; s < S; s++) {
        var r=160;
        var g=105;
        var b=60; //sets b value
        translate (width/2, height/2 + 50);
        rotate((6*s)- 0.50 * 360); //60 rotating lines
        stroke(H, M, S*2); //color alternates as time changes


Julia Nishizaki – Looking Outwards – 06

While not directly involving coding, the project that I chose to look at for this week is Tim Knowles’ Windwalks. Tim Knowles is a British artist based in London, and his project, Windwalks, visualizes a series of walks directed only by the wind using different mechanisms. Each walk is filmed, and then plotted by GPS, with the end product a line drawing of the path the individual took.

One of Tim Knowles’ Windwalks drawings
A close up of the above drawing, revealing glimpses of the city’s structure

I found this project particularly interesting, because it incorporates randomness in the form of the wind. While the wind is biased in the sense that there are trends and currents that the wind follows, this factor combined with the individual’s environment ends up generating a unique and personal piece of art. Not only does this project visualize an activity that we often overlook in our day to day lives, walking, it also reveals the outlines of buildings, cars, and objects in the environment, as individuals, prompted by the direction of the wind, collide with the structures of the city, making them visible in a new light. Thus, Knowles is able to create new, different, and deeper relationships between individuals, their cities, and the wind itself.

This headset, pushed by the wind, guides the individual along a “random” path
A photo taken during 50 simultaneous windwalks

Danny Cho – LookingOutwards 6

Patrick Gunderson – Ablaze 2011

I really enjoy the simplicity of the contrast in the color and how the overlaying of gradience creates a sense of 3D space. Also, the art is at the subliminal boundary of solid and gas. The tool that was used is Action Script, which is something I never have heard of before. I am willing to look into it see how I might be able to manipulate it. 

It looks like motion blur of an object’s movement. However, I am curious, if this was drawn over time, which part is the starting point and the ending point. The artist only shows the shot of the final image, so it’s hard for me to imagine the process.

William Su – Looking Outwards – 06 – Section E

A sample from Random Art Generator. The program accepts the name of a picture and uses it as a seed from which a picture is generated randomly. The same name always yields the same picture.

The Random Art Generator is a free to download python program which is why I was initially interested in this project as i’ve frequently used python for a lot of my work in the past. According to the site, the picture name is the seed and is used for a “random number generator” (nothing is truly random) which constructs a mathematical formula. The formula determines the color of each pixel in the picture. The same name always determines the same sequence of random choices, and consequently the same formula and the same picture.

I appreciate the thought of using a random number generator to create completely new and cool pieces of art. Although random number generators aren’t actually “random”, it just shows the endlessness of possibilities you can make with just a bunch of pixels and changing their colors.

Fanjie Jin-LookingOutwards-06

Cy Towbly, Bacchus, 2006-2008, Cy Twombly Foundation, currently exhibited in Gagosian New York

This painting is created by Cy Towbly, an American painter who has been acknowledge by his large-scale, freely-scribbled, calligraphic works on solid fields of plain colors such as off-white, grey and tan. His workflows are influenced greatly by Pollock, who has been mentioned in the description.

As this painting is completely based on his intuitive feeling about composition, shape and colors, it is an example of how the randomness of emotions and thoughts can be represented with color and gestures to articulate emotional expression. As the painting itself only consists of the simplest element- stoke, it allows viewers to examine the energy that’s associated with the expression and also has left room allowing viewers to interpret it.  

This work is really inspirational to me as it has manifested how the randomly generated compositions can be really expressive and full of impact while being dynamic and unpredictable.

Nawon Choi— Looking Outward 06

Composition in Line

Left - Piet Mondrian, Composition in line, second state, 1916-1917. © Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo. Courtesy: Collection Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo. Right - A. Michael Knoll, Computer Composition With Lines, 1964. Created with an IBM 7094 digital computer and a General Dynamics SC-4020 micro-film plotter. Photo: © A. Michael Knoll
Composition in Line by Piet Mondrian and Computer Composition With Lines by IBM 7094

I found this piece through a really interesting article about how an IBM 7094 computer generated a drawing that was very similar to a painting done by Piet Mondrian. The two images were prompted with this questionnaire—”One of the pictures is of a photograph of a painting by Piet Mondrian while the other is a photograph of a drawing made by an IBM 7094 digital computer. Which of the two do you think was done by a computer?” According to the article, few people, including those who claim to like abstract art, were unable to identify the painting.

I admire the thought and intentions behind this project and how it questions the nature of art, how one was made traditionally, with hours of an artists’ time spent in front of a canvas with oil and paint, while the other was generated by an algorithm, specifically and deliberately designed to emulate Mondrian’s original work. It challenges people’s ideas on what traditional art is, and introduces randomness and computational practices to abstract art.

Margot Gersing- Looking Outwards-06

Fish or Bird?

For this week I found this really fun project done by a man named Larry Cotton. He was is a power-tool designer and part-time community college math instructor. He was inspired by an article written by Charles Platt and Aaron Logue about a how to make a random number generator out of simple hardware that creates an unlimited amount of generated noises that could then be converted to high and low digital states. Larry Cotton, was inspired by this project and decided to use it to create abstract art. He took the RNG and made a drawing machine that used two motors to randomly control a pen.

Drawing machine with pen hooked up.
drawing machine

I love this project because of the hybrid digital and physical nature. It is so cool that the project came from a digital RGN, to physical hardware, to another machine (drawing robot) which makes physical mark making. In the final images, he also scanned them in digitally again to color and finish.

More drawings from Larry Cottons project
scanned in and colored

The other great part about this project is Larry lays out all the steps he did in an article so others can also do it.

Austin Garcia – Looking Outwards – 05 – Section C

Randomly Generated art constrained by normalized frames

I have always been interested in random and/or procedural generation, but for me, I also like to exhibit a certain amount of control over my work, not allowing for the randomly generated aspects to exist entirely on their own. For this reason, when I found the art of a group who calls themselves “Painting By Code” I was most interested in their work which had some elements of deliberate touch alongside the randomly generated geometries.