This is a project completed by Rachel Binx and Zach Watson. It illustrates how content is shared on facebook (linked here). Each visualization represents content starting from a single person (center) and branches off as this content is shared, and ends up becoming this hairy, radial, set of fingers. Different colors correspond to different genders, and the colors get whiter as time passes. I like the way that this project includes time – particularly the fact that it is clear how fast things are being shared – and the intuitiveness of the branching model. It is interesting to see these fingers plume out and spiral off.


sketch454.js code

I have come to resent both this ellipse/line curve render and the background that color shifts with mouse movement. I much prefer the curve on its own but messing around with this more superficial variation was my way of introducing complexity to a sketch that I had quite a bit of trouble getting to work initially. It probably would have been nicer to have the outer circle (from which the lines connecting to the hippopede curve originate) also change size, or maybe have the circle be a whole different curve altogether. Animation would make this project more interesting. Pictures below:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.11.07 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.11.23 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 10.11.38 PM


This clock simulates yeast and mold growing in a petri dish. Every hour a new spore appears, and it grows every minute of its hour. I tried working with arrays but had trouble calling values, and probably could have simplified my code a lot – I would have liked to randomize the sizes and locations of the spores, for example. I also think some grey-green mold would have been cute.

A picture of the clock at 11:10:
Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 11.11.29 PM


sketch454.js code


Joseph Nechvatal is described as a post-conceptual digital artist. He created sound piece viral symph0ny between 2006 and 2008, on UbuWeb here. A short excerpt:

It was created using a custom artificial life C++ software based on ‘the viral phenomenon model’. I am not sure I understand what this model is – it seems like this term is referring to a set of objects/ actants that self-replicate (or convert other objects into copies of themselves). I can’t find anything more specific about the piece, or figure out how sound was generated, but one thing I did learn is that I would like to know more about artificial life, specifically (for now) the parametricization of biological processes that can be closely tethered to specific geographies.


Living Mushtari is a wearable ‘microbial factory’ created by the Mediated Matter group: Neri Oxman (principal investigator), Will Patrick (project lead), Steven Keating, and Sunanda Sharma; Stratasys; Christoph Bader and Dominik Kolb; Prof. Pamela Silver and Stephanie Hays (Harvard Medical School); and Dr. James Weaver. It houses symbiotic microorganisms: photosynthetic microbes and compatible microbes. The photosynthetic microbe converts light to sucrose, and then the compatible microbe consumes the sucrose and converts it into what the team projects could be any number of things: pigments, drugs, food, fuel, etc.. The wearable is constructed from one tube that varies in diameter from 1mm to 2.5 cm and is wound around itself and the wearer in a way that is supposed to mimic biological growth. The tube was 3D printed with a liquid support that was then removed from the tube to be replaced by a liquid containing the symbiotic microbes. This injection process, and the more general concept of creating manipulable micro-ecologies, is extremely interesting to me, and the reason behind my choosing this project. It seems as though the wearer’s measurements would be one of the first inputs, but I am not sure how the code produces the variation of forms generated. I am curious about the way that this bio-mimicry is occurring, and what is really being mimicked. Do the microbes do better or worse in different formal conditions (the different fold and bends, the diameters of the channel)? Or is their success solely based on the transparency of the wearable? Mushtari seems very well documented aesthetically but I would appreciate further transparency about the functionality of the parametricized form.



see the project here.


The work I have chosen is ‘Automatic Insurrection,’ created by John Duda. It is linked here and pictured below.

Automatic Insurrection

It was created as a critique of revolutionary rhetoric, and generates a new ‘insurrectionist’ text every time a user clicks the ‘again’ button. I like this project; I think it is a perceptive stylistic critique of (what can often be pseudo-) political writing and I think it expresses this critique in a way that is engaging and funny. The author wrote a basic script that shuffles through lists of buzzwords. The structure and style was inspired by The Coming Insurrection, a book written by The Invisible Committee and first published in 2007. Although there are limited outputs and observable redundancies, I think that the general approach and critical direction are interesting. It is somewhat facile, and aims to be so – this is not a critique of ideology but of style vs. substance – which makes makes me wonder how one could create a generative text work that might be a little less toothless.



sketch154.js code

This was a fun exercise, though in hindsight I could have generated some rules about how these mostly symmetrical facial features related to each other). Also, I am noticing a tendency towards more vibrant colors when I get to write them out, which is interesting.


Bruce Nauman’s Four Corner Piece (1970) is an interactive installation that surveils and displays its viewers (/subjects) as they move through a tight maze of white walls. The positioning of the monitors and video cameras prevents viewers from seeing themselves. I particularly admire the formal simplicity of the way in which Nauman engages with the theme of surveillance; I think underscoring the (technological, logistical, ideological) crudeness of surveillance as a power relationship while effectively producing feelings of claustrophobia, paranoia, dread, and distinctive lab-rattiness is exciting.

Source: http://moca.org/pc/viewArtWork.php?id=47
Source: http://moca.org/pc/viewArtWork.php?id=47

I think I chose this piece (in this first week) because it is stimulating to see that something as basic as preventing a viewer from seeing themselves in a controlled, static architecture can be as successful as I feel Four Corner Piece is.