Monday, February 1, 2010

Generative Art


A piece about memories, seasons and using the elements of the textual representation of the memory to create an interactive one.

This is the result of over a year of late nights and weekends and the desire to completely disregard implementation and my current skill level when thinking up the concept for a piece.
Naturally much of the time was spent scratching my head and had I done it again now I would probably finish it in a much shorter time, but this is also a reason why I wanted to do it, the next time I make something I might get that extra bit closer what is in my head.
You know what they say about aiming for stars and hitting treetops.



For a while now i have been a great admirer of the work Dutch collect LUST have been producing. They create systems/programmes that can extract certain bits of information from the internet. These systems have been specifically designed in a way that creates an outcome that is unpredictable but still somehow analyses or comments on the vast amount of data from which it has been retreived.

Put more eloquently by the desigers themselves:

LUST / Typography, Design & Propaganda. Showcase for Dutch graphic and interactive design studio based in The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands. Design philosophy revolves around Process-based and Generative-based Design. Interested in exploring new pathways for design at the precarious edge where new media and information technologies, architecture and urban planning and graphic design overlap. Topics include graphic design typography abstract cartography mapping architecture urban media installations archiving data-visualizations random mistake-ism fonts type design new media interactive webdesign internet art big bang chaos ©1996-2009



Things by swiss design agency norm.to. Way for generating thousands of simples by simply putting in a few strokes in a box that is given.


During my time at the Fraunhof Gesellschaft - Institut für Medienkommunikation, I participated in the development of the netzspannung.org Knowledge Maps. The basic idea behind these Maps is to graphically present and communicate the content of the netzspannung.org database as well as visualising metadata about the content. The graphical visualisation presents the data in a intuitive way, so the constellations of the data form a statement about their contextual sourroundings. They are part of the netzspannung.org tools.

The Knowledge Maps are part of the netzspannung.org project that is lead by Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss at the MARSExploratory Media Lab, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft - Institute for Media Communication. The netzspannung.org project is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).





Generative art has been defined as “any art practice where the artist creates a process, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other mechanism, which is then set to motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a complete work of art.” (Philip Galanter).



Boris Müller has put online documentation of Poetry on the road 2006, a poetry festival for which he creates a computational design identity every year. A specific text is used as raw material, then treated by Müller’s software in some way to create a visual representation. This visual is then used for posters and other publicity materials, including the book that is released every year.

Eschewing the more magical approaches of previous years, the 2006 edition has seen Müller has gone firmly in the direction of information visualization. Words in a poem are given a numerical code by adding the values of their letters together. This number gives the word its position on a circle, which is marked by a red dot. Gray lines connect the dots in the sequence the words they represent appear in the poem. The diameter of the circle on which the dots are placed is decided by the length of the poem. In this way several poems can be represented in a single image.



"This year, our concept is based on a very old concept of encoding text. We assigned a numerical value to every letter of the alphabet. Adding the values of all letters, one gets a number that represents the overall word. (For example, the number 99 would represent the word »poetry«.)


Using this system, an entire poem could be arranged on a circular path. The diameter of the circle is based on the length of the poem. So you can see the short poems in the centre of the poster, while the longer ones form the outer circles.


Red rings on the circular path represent a number. As many different words can share the same number (»poetry« shares the 99 with words like »thought« and »letters«), most rings represents different words. The thickness of the ring depends on the amount of words that share the same number.


Finally, gray lines connect the words of the poem in their original sequence. So solid lines represent repetitive patterns in the poem.


Like in the years before, the computer program was not only used to generate the image for the poster. It was also used for brochures and the cover of the book that accompanies each festival. Furthermore, the program was used to generate the divider pages in the book. So the poems of each wirter are introduced by an abstract visual representation of themselves".


video

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