Artists and their Apps by Doc Woohoo!
Summary / introduction
We are the mavericks. The innovators. The originators. We risk it all to create tools that extend our creative expression. Unable to accept the way things are — our relentless determination and passion force us down unexpected paths — emerging with tools and ideas like Laurie Anderson's tape-bow violin, Frank Gehry's Digital Project apps, Brian Eno's Generative Music and all of seriously fun toys below.
Joshua Davis: Dynamic Abstraction
Review: Using his library of code to shape and constrain the visual aesthetic, Josh unleashes his drawing engines to generate elegant and chaotic compositions using a process he calls Dynamic Abstraction. Dynamic because of the infinite amount of compositions his code can generate. Abstract in the sense that the process of design is abstracted as an end result of the code and because of the visual style the Josh is attracted to.
It is the combination of his technology + style, along with his innate and dexterous ability at marketing himself, that his artwork has now crept into our social subconsciousness.
Erik Natzke: Ribbons
Review: If you followed Natzke's ribbon throughout his artwork, from beginning to the present, you would see the evolution of a brushstroke: becoming more expressive, eloquent and organic as it ages. If we could dig a little deeper into his code, over time we would probably see the expansion, contractions and evolution of the code as well.
It is a process that I like to call Constructive Architecture, where, rather than destroying experiments and the code behind them, there are portions of the code that evolve and become synonymous with the artist/developer over time.
Robert (Flight404) Hodgin: Magnetosphere
Review: He has mastered x, y, z, time, interactivity and if that was not enough, an aesthetic style that causes us to loose our breath.
Robert is a true original. But I believe his greatest qualities are: his humbleness, whereas he shares with us his limitations; and a relentless passion and drive that allows him to transcend the obstacles in front of him.
Ben Fry & Casey Reas: Processing
Review: Ben + Casey developed the application Processing, which is an incredible 'environment for learning the fundamentals of computer programming within the context of electronic arts'. Processing is so powerful and fast, the artwork can react in realtime based on live data streams such as video cams, audio, you name it.
It may be beyond my ability to comprehend how much they had to sacrifice to develop Processing, but here are a couple of reasons their effort is truly remarkable: Processing is open source – it's free; and I recently read in August 2008 issue of Computer Arts that the legendary John Maeda, their advisor at MIT, discouraged them from making the application.
As a direct result of their work, Generative Art – art constructed using algorithms – proliferates today.
Review: fdavid boira+zoë coombes personify the transcendental transformation of pixels-to-atoms by way of connecting the dots between art + technology + architecture, while embracing and streamlining the artisan processes of the past.
The end result are alluring, organic, sumptuous sculptures that are sculpted on the computer with the aesthetic of a true artist and enhanced by lines of code.
Review: Watch Marc Fornes closely. The 2004 graduate with a Master of Architecture and Urbanism from the Design Research Lab of the Architectural Assoc in London, Marc was already worked and collaborated with R&Sie, La Reunion and ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS.
He is the founder of THEVERYMANY, a design studio and collaborative research forum. His intelligent and beautiful sculptures are the result of a characteristic that is common among this group – a fundamental desire to explore the relationship between computer science and digital media – regardless of whether it relates to the visual arts, architecture, engineering, the list goes on and on – in order to extend our capabilities.
In the accompanying image, THEVERYMANY is working on a collaboration with R&Sie(n) and the extremely talented François Roche to create Loophole which is a bridge connecting Cieszyn, Poland with Cesky Tesin, Czech. It embodies the dichotomy between the labyrinth of woven threads and the clear path of a bridge as an analogy to the serpentine
relationship of Poland and Czech adds a dramatic emotional depth to this piece. Marc’s use of weaving algorithms to form the labyrinth adds to the emotional intensity of the bridge and the relationship.
Review: Skylar Tibbits is in ‘the endless search for more_’. He is interested in finding more examples of and continuing to study experimental computation as it relates to ‘architecture, digital media, network organizations, computer programming, art, fashion, dance, etc.’.
He co-curated Scriptedbypurpose, an exhibition at the FUEL Collection in Philadelphia along with Marc Fornes, as well as recently gaving a lecture with Marc at the MIND08 Design + Science conference – a collaboration between SEED, MOMA and Parsons and orchestrated by the incredible Paola Antonelli. His streams of code and design are taking form while working at a who’s who list in architecture: Point b design, Asymptote Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects and
SKIII Space Variations.
Alisa Andrasek: BioThing
Review: During my research phase for this list, the gravitational pull towards Alisa and BioThing was irresistible. Alisa calls herself 'an experimental practitioner of architecture and computational processes in design' and it is evident as I traverse her trail and the trail of BioThing – which she founded in 2001 – of projects and interests that she has contributed an enormous amount of energy in connecting the dots between 'material behaviors and computational
instruments' with the help of algorithms.
Imagine, as a designer, using a library of code that generates patterns that are understand the constraints of the aesthetics, the properties of materials, even of the fabrication and assembly process in order to generate new objects of desire.
Zaha Hadid: wework|4her
Review: Like most people, I learn about new work from ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS in magazines and online – like the recent announcement on Dezeen that Nordpark Cable Railway by Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher made the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize for 2008.
Curious about how such beautiful shapes of glass could be created – and sensing the touch of magic libraries of code – I Google'd Zaha Hadid and Rhinoscript and found a very special place online called wework|4her. The new wework|4her blog is by a team working for Zaha Hadid with a focus on Rhino concepts and scripts, giving us an inside peak into the brilliant and creative minds at work.
George Katodrytis: StudioNova Architects
Review: To address the challenge of sustainability, George is using algorithms that are taped into the dynamic energy and environmental properties of a location in order to find the optimized solutions and create a design based on these results.
Whereas architecture in the past was static – in a recent presentation entitled Emergining Morpho(eco)logies – George suggests architecture can now can be dynamic, even reactive, when it embraces change by imitating natural systems and processes found in nature. The (de)formation of the model is influenced by flows of people, wind, ‘attractors’ and ‘repulsors’.
If you are a Flash or Processing developer who has traditionally pushed pixels around in interesting ways on the screen and are interested in transitioning from pixels-to-atoms, reading George’s magic on his site would be enlightening.
Additional reading: Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems.
Netdiver asked all fab scouts to answer same 3 questions..
#1 - Biggest hurdle overcomed?
Transforming ideas-to-pixels-to-atoms. The only way to allow my artistic vision to take form was to create applications that could: intelligently analyze colors; influence brush strokes by music and other data streams; control the behaviors and the form of the paint – influencing the paint from natural dynamics like gravity and wind and shape-shifting the form into unexpected shapes like glass; and then paint it onto the surface or texture map of the digital 3d models.
For the final transition from pixels-to-atoms, the form needed to embrace properties that allowed me to print it in a 2d plane on canvas or laser-cut/etched on acrylic, as well as cnc-milled into a 3d physical model that I could use for casting that would eventually become the glass, ceramic and metal sculptures.
#2 - Greatest moment?
Conversation between Dr. Woohoo and Laurie Anderson:
'How do colors relate to emotions?' - Dr. Woohoo!
'Fre-quenc-yyyyyy!' - Laurie Anderson
..and sounds?' - Woohoo
'Fre-quenc-yyyyyy again!' - Anderson
...and words?' - Woohoo
'Ahhhhhh.. wordsss are purely subjective!' - Anderson
#3 - What next?
Add Compositional Combinatorics and Evolutionary Algorithms to the sculpting process. Compositional Combinatorics is a step beyond randomness, whereas instead of randomly generating and discovering a composition, this algorithm populates a database filled with all possible variations of a composition or in this case a sculpture.
From this point, I will ‘render’ the forms, while teaching the system what compositional characteristics I prefer so that later generations will evolve closer to my vision.
Artwork: Cotton Candy Popsicle
Dr. Woohoo creates art that fuse the intelligence of algorithms, the creative expressiveness of natural, organic media with behaviors found in natural systems. Woohoo sculpts the strings of code from an abstract artistic vision into color, painting and sculpting applications that he uses to generate his contemporary and sophisticated artwork into prints, videos, installations, glass, ceramic and metal sculptures.
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