sovid – Looking Outwards: David Rokeby

I initially clicked on this piece because it focused on Trafalgar Square, the area the street I lived on was named after, but I actually ended up enjoying the piece itself. Rokeby uses images and footage taken from above Trafalgar Square and slowly interpolates through time, revealing the patterns and trails the living things and the environment itself create.

sovid – Clock

Sketch can be found here.

For this assignment I was interested in combining music theory and time to create a clock. I started by identifying twelve chords that I found beautiful or interesting, and then divided up their notes into bass, alto, and soprano. After I recorded these notes on my flute, I loaded each note file into P5 and had each chord play on a specific hour, with the seconds playing a different note in that chord with each tick. I liked the ideas in lecture about approximating time; in theory, someone with incredible perfect pitch would be able to tell what hour it is just by listening to the bass note of the chord of my clock. I also really enjoyed the idea of a time garden, so the flowers seen "floating" on the water are in fact pressed flowers that would be planted in that garden. Of course, there is so much to improve on. Working with sound in P5 turned out to be a huge pain and I spent most of my time figuring that out - looking at my finished project I wished I spent more time on the visual side of things. To make matters worse, when I combined my two files with the sound code and the flower simulation code, the program's visuals run extremely slowly.

Because my clock mostly relies on sound, I've attached a video rather than a gif. The video shows my clock at 4PM, noon, and 3AM.

Sketchbook notes:

sovid – Reading 03

While I disagree with those mentioned in the article who say that first word art is not art, I would place myself and my interests closer to the last word art side of the spectrum. While I aim to create new and interesting stories for my animations, I do want to create something new and meaningful in a largely accessible and heavily used medium, 3D software. New advancements in 3D software, however, fall into a deeper subdivision of the spectrum - if a new version of Maya comes out with new and unheard of simulation systems built in, for example, then the well-known tool becomes something that people can begin to experiment with once again. The idea of novel ideas not aging well is interesting because there are cases where that is true and cases where that is false. Molnár's generative plotter drawings were certainly revolutionary for the time and she still continues to make work using similar ideas and techniques that she had early on in her career.

sovid – Animated Loop


She struts in all of her muscular glory! Sketch can be found here.

I immediately decided that I wanted to do a walk cycle for the loop, since it is something I've become very familiar with and makes sense as an infinite loop. In honor of Sophie Koko Gate's new animated short, "Slug Life", I decided to draw a character inspired by one of her characters.

I ended up using two different ease functions from the imported p5 library - sineInOut() for the arm and leg swing motion, and circularArcThroughAPoint() for the bouncing walk motion. I wrote the program without using object oriented programming, which was a big mistake on my part, but I was too far in to go back and change it. Drawing with arcs was definitely the most time consuming part of this assignment, as I had a clear idea of what I wanted my character to look like.

If I had more time I would add features like swinging hands and fingers, bending feet, and a moving background. I also would like to figure out a cleaner way to offset the swinging of her arms; although I ended up liking how she cartoonishly swings her hands when she walks, it was not what I originally intended.

sovid – Looking Outwards 02


This week I chose to focus on Leonardo Solaas's work shown at "La emergencia de la imagen" ("The Emergency of Image"), the final show for the Production Marathon Lab 2016 at the Spain Cultural Center in Buenos Aires. Working together with a group of 16 participants, the artist used generative systems to create random and minuscule porcelain sculptures, each with a unique and recognizable body, personality, and/or function. I couldn't find information on whether or not these sculptures were 3D printed or hand-modeled after being generatively designed, but either way I love how a mass society of small beings can be produced with technology.

Click the images below to go to his portfolio.

La emergencia de la imagen

La emergencia de la imagen

sovid – Reading 02

1A. I think any board game that creates a complex world based on a set of rules can be considered a work with effective complexity. A family favorite of mine is the German kingdom building game Carcassonne. The game relies on a series of very specific rules and outcomes for each draw of the game, yet every time it is played, the kingdom looks entirely different, as each tile placed is drawn at random.

Related image

1B. The issue of intent in generative art is very interesting to me because I (whether I try to or not) tend to lean towards labor heavy work and attribute more value to something that has been painstakingly created. While happy accidents are something I frequently stumble upon, I can't help but think of them as a lazy approach and give less importance to a work.

sovid – Interruptions

What I noticed about Molnár's artwork:

  1. The artworks are all squares.
  2. The artwork has a white background with many small black lines.
  3. All of the lines have the same length.
  4. The lines appear to be organized on a grid.
  5. The lines all have random angles.
  6. The left endpoint on the lines on the left edge of the artwork all line up.
  7. The top endpoints on the lines on the top edge all line up.
  8. There is a white border a little bit over the line length.
  9. There are various gaps in the grid but they are all clustered together.
  10. The gaps are not uniform shapes, but are rather spilling into the grid.

My first task was to create the grid of lines - I began by creating two classes - one for an individual point and then one for a line. Then, using a nested for loop, I drew lines of length 22 px. (I had to test various spacing values and line lengths to get as close as I could to the original artwork and that's the value I ended up on) going in the same direction to ensure my grid was working properly. Then, to create the random angles, I used an altered parametric form of an equation of a circle to find a random point on the circumference of a circle with radius lineLength. To create the gaps or "interruptions", I used Gene Kogan's notes on 2D Perlin noise to decide whether or not to draw lines at a certain point on the grid. To reset the sketch, I had to create a new noiseSeed value before I ran redraw() because otherwise the noise function would return the same values each mouse click. At first I attempted to create the gaps without Perlin noise, but having them cluster together in the way Molnár did proved to be very difficult.

My sketch is linked here.

sovid – 01 Reading

8. The Critical Engineer looks to the history of art, architecture, activism, philosophy and invention and finds exemplary works of Critical Engineering. Strategies, ideas and agendas from these disciplines will be adopted, re-purposed and deployed.

I think this is this the most important tenet of this manifesto because if we continue to function in a society where computation is becoming more and more relevant, the way we approach exploring computation should draw techniques from every discipline. In the same way Leah Buechley argues to change the way STEM subjects are taught, the critical engineer repurposes ideas from different disciplines.



sovid – Looking Outwards #1

I recently attended a lecture at SIGGRAPH 2019 called "Classic Art, Cutting Edge", in which I was exposed to an animated short created for Google Spotlight. The 3D animated short told the story of an old sailor who finds redemption when he saves a young girl who had fallen overboard her ship. I enjoyed the story, but what captivated me the most was the way the animation was presented. The team of ten or so people at Boathouse studios had managed to create a beautiful sketch-like ocean scene that was able to run in realtime and in VR. I believe the project took them almost a year since the team was so small and the film was about 12 minutes. I am very interested in the new ways film and storytelling can be shown outside the scope of traditional theaters, and I have been working with more VR related projects recently. The shaders and ocean scripts were created by the team, as animating and simulating the ocean using normal simulation in Maya, for instance, would be too expensive for VR (the whole film is set in the ocean). I admire how they were able to create a captivating film, where the viewer has the ability to look wherever they would like but still be able to follow the narrative the way they intended.

A theatrical (non VR) version can be found here.