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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Robert Lang uses math and engineering principles to fold mind-blowingly intricate designs that are beautiful and, sometimes, very useful.

This is the direct TED video link for those who cannot display Youtube or those who prefer subtitles.

And this is Robert Lang’s website where you can find a lot of information on what he does.

For me he is one of the most stunning architect/designers working with emergent biological systems. The images below are just random selections from his huge blog – one could literally spend days in there…

A 3D desktop interface that lets you organize your files and directories in a sensory 3D environment.. It seems to be free to download and test for 30 days, but I haven’t done it myself.

Great site for info-vis:

This is a glove that plays “Rock Paper Scissors” with its wearer. The glove detects the position of the wearer’s hand, remembers patterns in how they play and uses this to play to their weaknesses resulting in a very competitive game against the wearer.

Read more here.

Excellent blog on generative art, design, sound design:

well, who needs a computer if it’s mechanical.. of course, i don’t know how balint made the calculations to build this machine (computer, on paper, ?)  but it’s an amazing idea. i didn’t think of posting this because of its non-computational nature but anyway, here it is.

needless to say. cool. check out balint’s portfolio too!

quoted from balint’s page:

Trace is a sculptural device that alludes to scientific discoveries and pseudoscientific concepts such as phrenology, physiognomy, and craniometry. A revolving plaster cast of the artist’s head is slowly deconstructed into a mathematical diagram that changes as time passes. The peculiarities of the human face that as humans, we attach so much importance to, is dematerialised into a changing drawing that embodies the differential undulations of the human anatomy. ‘Trace’ questions our notion of self and how through technology we have found different visual representations for the individual. DNA profiling, retina scans and the fingerprint are all things that are conjured up by the meticulous mechanical process of the work. The topographical images are turned into a new form of three-dimensional representation that draws our attention to the ‘space within’.


I have been meaning to add this in here for the longest time. If you ask me, this is one of the greatest things ever made! Every time you refresh the page the pomo text generator will create you a grammatically accurate text, which reads like an academic paper (comes complete with references!) – until you look closer and realize it is all non-sense! Somewhat similar (and probably inspired by) the Sokal Affair, although Alan Sokal wrote it himself back then, of course.

The hilarious (and oh so sadly accurate) commentary which Larios makes upon academic writing aside – text generators! Now, why do people not make more of them, I wonder? Murat and I looked for one, which he needed for a project of his, something which would generate a tale/narrative/text based upon keyword input and we couldn’t find a thing!

Am I dropping a hint, students? You bet I am! Anyone interested? The Dada Engine is the thing that Josh Larios used for the pomo generator. Here’s the link:

Celestial Mechanics is a planetarium-based installation that visualizes the statistics, data, and protocols of man-made aerial technologies — a graphic display of the paths and functions of the machines hovering, flying, and drifting above our planet. The sky is filled with aircraft that transport people from place to place, perform utilitarian duties, assist in communications, enact military missions, or wander above us as debris. Celestial Mechanics combines science, statistical display, and contemporary art by presenting these mechanical patterns and behaviors as a dynamic visual experience. The artwork is intended to be viewed in a planetarium dome, and as time permits the authors, it is updated. [CM-Labs]

Communication Satellites and Geostationary Ring

LAX airport sound patterns

LAPD helicopters

This is in French, so sadly one cannot follow the non-linear storyline, unless one speaks the language, which I do not. However, still well worth checking out, even if you are like me… ;-)

aux2mondes is an internet audio work consisting of women’s commentaries that are non-narratively linked in order to create a story based upon the user’s interest and intuition. The project aux2mondes concerns representation but before all “human linkage”. Interviews and soundscape are linked with keywords and the interface traces their progress. This approach–like sound itself–resists the voyeurism inherent in representation and returns the user to her or his own self-interest. To interact with the graph you can just click on a node which then repositions itself in the center. Click once more on that node to listen to the interviews and soundscape.

Screenshots of the Java application

This java based application transforms a simple product bar code into a unique tree in the garden of globalization. Taking advantage of this rich pool of information Barcode Plantage creates a series of visualizations based on a set of default bar codes. Once a bar code is keyed or scanned in, the program sends a request to the database, which returns a master file data. This master file data is then analyzed to define positions, curves and colors of Bezier curves of the tree structure. The number of these curves will vary correspondence to the number of figures in the code. Simultaneously, the user will hear a melody, which is based on the figures of the bar code. To complete the visualized information details of the country of origin, manufacturer, product number and sum – each on a single black bar connected by fine lines ? are displayed. Since all data is being interpreted by an algorithm that works completely without any random aspect each product is represented by a characteristic and singular tree. [Visual Complexity]