Here’s last night’s doodle. A silly little thing, but quite good fun because I really enjoyed working playing with Corel Painter for Android, the best mobile painting application I have seen so far.

Wacom’s Bamboo is just plain silly. No layers, a fixed and limited palette.

Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro is quite good but I can’t get it to work on my Nexus 9 (crashes when accepting the license terms), and in the end I find Corel Painter Mobile a lot more flexible, actually working fine most of the time, and well worth £2.75 for the licensed full version. I am happy to pay and happy to play.

Adrift. Silicon stylus on Nexus 7 and Corel Painter Mobile.

A Blinkenlight

DSC_0215I call it Ein Blinkenlight For 1000 Thoroughly Modern Monkeys, 448 LEDs and One Great Bard, and it is ready!

My Blinkenlight plays on the philosophical question whether 1000 monkeys using 1000 typewriters eventually produce the works of William Shakespeare, given enough time. My 1000 monkeys are thoroughly modern monkeys: they exist in form of a digital emulation, programmed into a Raspberry Pi mini-computer, and they use a predictive texting system rather than classic typewriters. Their output is shown on a display made from 448 LEDs.

The predictive texting system is trained with one or more of the works of the great bard.

The monkeys begin with a randomly selected word out of all the words in the training vocabulary. The next word is randomly chosen, but with a probability matching the word distribution in the original work. For example, king may follow my with a probability of 40%, sword may follow my with a probability of 30%, land and dog with 20% and 10%, respectively. Juliet may never appear after my, not in Hamlet. Punctuation and capitalization follow a similar principle of random selection to match the distribution in the training material.

This process is repeated over and over, producing an intriguingly Shakespearean-esque but nonsensical series of words.

This Google+ post has a little video attached, demonstrating the blinkenlight working with both Hamlet Prince of Denmark and Romeo And Juliet.

Focal Points

arty-farty-01We had a good conversation about what constitutes art, and related subjects.

To take the thought experiment beyond the thought, I present Focal Points.

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Tick-Tock Goes Live

tick-tockFirst and foremost, let me acknowledge that I took somebody else’s idea for this little craft project. I am thus crediting Florian Jenett for the creative idea. Hat tip, with thanks, Florian! Take a look at Florian’s own implementation of this – he calls it One Perfect Cube.

So, basically, you have three clocks, arranged and aligned such that the hands form a 3D projection of a cube once every 12 hours at approximately 10:10 (if you’d take the bottom clock for local time). It’s a perfect cube in Florian’s case, and a less than perfect one in my case, but it works!

I never understood how Florian’s works got into the exhibition on Clearly it’s neither 2D or 3D software animation, and neither is mine, but what the heck. Both the exhibition and Florian’s piece are very intriguing and inspiring.

The frame in the top half of the picture shows the piece a-ticking, while the bottom frame of the picture on the left shows the works in standby. They were kicked into life by simultaneous action by three lovely ladies. The Tick Tock Chicks pulled the trigger to set the batteries running and clocks a-ticking at 22:10 on February 26th, 2013.


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Amalgamation Update

baby-lottieJust a little note to say that the Amalgamator has been updated with its third-generation algorithm. It’s a surprisingly tough challenge, but I am well pleased with the current engine.

Error-free amalgamation of the demo text with an overall ratio of 0.76, compared to the previous algorithm, which reached an overall ratio of 0.84 on the same text (and not without errors in the general case) – I am well pleased.

The Amalgamation site is right here.

Amalgamation ‘r’ Us

baby-lottieNow here’s is something that kept me both excited and busy for quite some while. It is no wonder that I am both very excited and pleased, therefore, to announce the beta release of the Amalgamation Project.

The Amalgamator Project is a little digital visual arts project of mine, and it goes like this:

Consider a versatile greetings card, containing all the greetings, congratulations and condolences you’d ever want to send. The words are listed such that by crossing out the unwanted words (or circling, or highlighting, the desired ones), all the original greetings, congratulations and condolences can be created.

The picture shows one of these cards with crossed-out unwanted words. We made this “by hand,” and discovered that the manual process is highly error-prone and brain-wrecking. You will alwaysbe expected to do the crossing-out or highlighting by hand, make no mistake. But the merging of messages into one jumble of words “by hand” is quite an effort.

I am pleased to announce the first release of a software solution. The amalgamation algorithm takes your greetings and get-well messages, your thank you notes and condolences, or any other message you’d want to convey in any language you can type on your computer, and amalgamates these messages into a jumble of words of the quality described above.

This first version of the algorithm has a known inefficiency, but it doesn’t appear to cause severe errors. I think of this release as a starting point only, but since it cost me quite some sweat to reach this point, well, I’m pleased.

The Amalgamation site is right here.

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Corporate Meeting Results

doodles_lowresI need to be on full alert in some meetings that I attend at work, while some other meetings require just listening in at a reduced level of alertness. When attending teleconferences of the latter kind, sometimes I make use of the spare capacity, get my graphics tablet out, and doodle around with Artrage. I like these six doodles shown here, which I drew in order from top left to bottom right.

Each is a very simple random doodle, filled with plain colour. None has any artistic merits, but I like the fact that you can see a plan emerging from a random doodle top left, to something like a flower bud in the bottom right. Oh, and I also like the bold colours.

The plan improves and colours are chosen more considerately, as I move from doodle to doodle. Predictably yet frustratingly, the spontaneity of the first doodle is lost. I need to learn combining the spontaneity of the first with the planning of the last.

Time to join more meetings. Bring it on!

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A Project Proposal

DSC_0239No This Week I’ve Been Mostly Eating this week. I am stuck in a studio apartment with a tiny kitchenette and mediocre equipment. Cooking is limited to salads, sandwiches, pasta with simple sauces. Not very exciting.

Instead, let me tell you about an arts project idea that came to my mind:

You start by talking to those people who make the colour mixing machines found in the paint departments of supermarkets, D.I.Y. stores and hardware stores. Dulux comes to mind, but others have pretty daughters colours, too. Somehow, you make them surrender their colour mixing statistics: on this day, we produced 5 litres of a paint made of 3% apricot and 1% lime, and 2 litres coloured with 1% ochre and 0.5% bright red (plus the bulk in white), etc.

You’d collect this statistical data over a long time, preferably a year, and preferably in different countries and continents.

Then, you go and chose a colour chart. I like the idea of using a standard IT8.7 target, but some of the fancier colour rendering index methods with all colours of the rainbow, arranged maybe in a circle, could be a good start.

Next, you devise an algorithm that lets you plot this chart, distorted by the statistical data retrieved. For example, one might expect that bright yellow and lime colours play a larger role in spring than maybe in summer, or one might expect that ochre and beige shades play a larger role in California than in England. Will the winter be predominantly dark or bright?

It seems plain to me, even though I won’t normally shy away from making an effort, that this is a tiny little bit too large for me. I guess this could be a digital art major project for one or two students, for example, so if anyone out there reads this and plans on doing it, good luck, and be sure to show me the results.


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