Category Archives: LO-4


05 Feb 2015

by Giuseppe Randazzo


Meanders is a series of sculptural works created for fabrication in Processing. Each agent is given an initial position and a velocity. Each particle’s path is recorded, these are the lines seen in the sculpture. The paths loop around each other, and sometimes cut through one another.

Once the program had finished running, Randazzo exported the paths to be printed. The result is a physical work, which is one part of it that I really enjoy. I also appreciate the level of design that went into the project including material and color choice. Overall, the result is mostly a formal study. The work is tagged as a personal project, it doesn’t seem to have a contextual practice element.

I can imagine that having the agents being initialized by some external data points could lead to some interesting results. A strange new kind of graph.


Digital Grotesque
by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger



For Digital Grotesque, the artists used generative programming to invent a new space, which exists in the physical world. Similar to Meanders, a program was used to create a model which was then 3D printed in sandstone. The program outlined a procedure (inspired by cell division) that begins with a simple cube and ends up carving out architectural details down to the millimeter.

This project is even more interesting to me than the previous one in this blog post. Even though the process was very similar, these artists are working with complex ideas, beyond formalism.

For me, it seems like generative art contains complex ideas regardless of the artist’s intentions. To have an algorithm generate something that is aesthetically pleasing to the human eye… really complicates the role of an artist. And I think we can really see this shift of the artists’ role when comparing contemporary work to all preceding artistic movements.

This shift is highlighted in this Digital Grotesque project. Here, the computer has not only rendered or printed something beautiful, but has actually generated a real space. How complicated.


05 Feb 2015

Partitura 001

This is a generative visualization that translates music into a visually-expressive form. I like how it reads like sheet music with “notes” moving across the page from left to right, with different geometries used to represent various instruments as they get added — the large spheres and spark-like forms for the different sounds of the synthesizer. There is a certain playful spontaneity with the form that is balanced by the precise rhythm of the beat. When it starts, the soft notes of the keyboard are conveyed with long DNA-like strands. As the piece continues, the smooth forms of the strands evolve into harsher geometric shapes, which was a little jarring. This visualization was created using software called Partitura; the site mentions that artists like Wassilly Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Oscar Fischinger and Norman McLaren inspired the software’s capabilities. Partitura also allows for elements like shadows and lighting effects, creating an almost-photorealistic effect.

The Formula

This generative form is a Mandelbulb, a 3D version of the Mandelbrot fractal. It was made with OpenGL Shading Language that uses the graphics processor to ray trace the fractal’s mathematical surface. The result are images that reveal even finer details upon closer inspection. The camera positions in the video makes it appear that we’re viewing corals on the ocean floor while swimming through crystal-clear water; the fractal details are stunningly sharp. The lighting is well done, and there are some nice visual effects that are timed to the background music. Some of the formations later in the video, coupled with the dark music, seemed a bit grotesque and disturbing, yet beautiful at the same time.


05 Feb 2015

Fractal Film is a generative film that takes 3D source video of a performance, and then displays it with a random selection of editorial decisions, such as camera position, zoom, speed and video loops.  Each iteration of the film employs a different combination of these choices, exploring a unique edit of the footage.

I find this work very compelling, not only because it deals with film and staging, but because it uses randomness and synthesis in a way that I believe is very effective.  Cinematography has a profound effect on how the story is told, and yet, we aren’t traditionally able to explore how it could have been shot differently — most filmmakers don’t even have the resources to collect this much footage.  Limited resources mean that everything about the way film is traditionally delivered to us is incredibly deliberate and narrow — thus, I think being able to see the story told through edits no filmmaker would ever call for is incredibly valuable.

I wish the articles I found (including the main article) had a better description of the editorial decisions the film iterates through.  It’s super vague (one is allegedly “goals”), and I’d like to understand whether content comes into play.  A more dense array of cameras would probably also make the experiment significantly more interesting.  Interpolating between these views would also allow us to synthesize a large number of perspectives.

Fractal Art is a collaboration between video artist Delphine Doukhan and generative artist Antoine Schmitt. .  Doukhan seems to have a history of exploring new media, and Schmitt’s works frequently deal with notions of randomness and unique combinations of outside media; both of their work can clearly be seen in the inspiration of this work.

The group Nervous System has created a set of generative jigsaw puzzles — both the cuts and the image itself are generative and unique to each piece.  The puzzles use generative artworks created by generative artist John McCabe.

I found this work compelling because I thought it made particularly good and interesting use of the generative form — a puzzle is something where true uniqueness comes in handy, and random generation does no harm to its form.  According to my source, Nervous System specialized in generative products, but they consider the form to be very distinct from their other works.  They cite a fascination with puzzles as their inspiration, and the massive potential they present for generative form.  The artists plan on improving their product and making future iterations.

This is another piece I have trouble criticizing, because it’s very effective at what it sets out to do.  I suppose my personal preference would be that the puzzle have corners — with such a complicated piece, some frame of reference might be nice for putting the puzzle back together.  But I can see arguments against it.    

Amy Friedman

05 Feb 2015

Love Project

This project was created by Estudio Guto Requena with D3 in 2014 unveiling the project at the Sao Paulo Design Weekend, the projects slogan is “Love Stories shaping everyday objects”. Using vocal recordings, brainwave, heartbeat and perspiration data, this project generates house hold items based on the emotion and biosensor data created while talking about their loved ones. This project tries to create a physical record of love, but is this the best way to convey this data. The object may create emotional attachment from the creator, but that doesnt mean everyone else will recognize its significance. We cant gauge if the object means that they loved someone more than others, or learn about the story behind the object as its a record created from data without a way to retrieve the data. I think this succeeds in applying emotion to tangible objects, but there needs to be a way to interact with the data so we understand the emotion as Sveta McShane critiques in “Can You 3D Print Emotions? New “Love Project” Uses Biometric Sensors to Create Household Objects”.

Biometric Jewelry

Created by Hideaki Matsui using Arduino, Rhino, Grasshopper, Firefly, and LunchBox, Biometric Jewelry used biometric data from a temperature sensor, heart rate sensor, and ultrasonic sensors. The ultrasonic sensors determined the width of the wrist to create a customized bracelet that can be 3d printed. Using biometric data we can customize artifacts to fit ourselves, but the  documentation of Hideaki’s personal project doesn’t indicate how the heart rate and temperature informs the design of the jewelry. Similar to Love Project, how do we know what we are interacting with? Biometric data can be valuable to create custom prosthetics and other need-based products, but developing a code to define emotion doesn’t mean we understand what our emotion is at that moment, or how the artifact is encoded.


04 Feb 2015

Generative art is something that has always fascinated me. One of my first encounters with it was with fractals. I have always been fascinated with fractals and doing things with them. I love the idea of math creating beautiful patterns. With this in mind, when I was looking for projects related to generative art, I realized that most of the ones I saw were fractal related. So I decided to stay away from fractals!!


“Generative Art from Neural Networks”

The first project I discovered was a “generative art from neural networks”. I saw neural networks when I was studying computational perception. They are crazy! Neural networks try to simulate our own brain networks (“try”). I know they use them a lot in computer vision problems but I had never seen them in generative art. I didn’t really like the color combination of the art piece, but I really enjoyed the evolution of it. How it changed and how it diluted into something else. Similar to fractals but not as dramatic. I believe more can be done to it, i found it a little too static or slow. Maybe adding a more fluid simulation could have enhanced the experience.

“Large Luminous Surfaces – Generative Art Concept – The Wind Wall”

The second project I found was the “Large Luminous Surfaces – Generative Art Concept – The Wind Wall”. It is an art piece that uses climate and nature feedback as the main input for the generative art. I really liked it because it makes you see what you can feel but not truly see. We all feel the wind and, at least me, see it in our own way. This piece is putting a real image to it. A color sensation that it may be different from what you personally see; but I think is an interesting idea. To display what we cant see but feel is an interesting challenge. I wasn’t expecting this project to be from Phillips. Usually we see technology from big companies be all about commercial use, but here is all about the experience.