SOLAAS.COM.AR

BlogBlog

Two interviews at DigimagTwo interviews at Digimag

During year 2010 I had the stimulating pleasure of being interviewed two times for the wonderful online magazine Digimag. The interviewer was in both cases the architect, journalist, restless thinker and new friend Jeremy Levine.

The first time around it was just him and me, in a provoking back-and-forth that got me thinking about the common thread in my artistic works and the generative art practice. It was published in February as the cover feature of issue 51, under the beautiful title "Towards the Edge of Chaos" (and even more beautiful in Italian: "Verso i confini del caos").

A few months later Jeremy decided to raise the stakes and brought some interesting people in for a round-table dialogue about the current state of the generative practice. We debated cordially with Marius Watz and Mitchell Whitelaw. My personal feeling is we reached rather deep in a set of fascinating issues that involve artistic creation and cultural shifts in today's world. It is a bit of a long read, but I think it is worth it. You can find it under the title "Generative Practice: State of the Art" in issue 57 from last September.

Big thanks go to Jeremy and everyone involved in the commendable effort of producing Digimag (in two editions, English and Italian!) for the opportunity of putting production on hold for a bit and enabling a space to think and debate about what we are doing.

Walking in color spaceWalking in color space

This is a quick code experiment that visualizes images as trajectories in color space, one line per pixel row.

Van Gogh in rgb

RGB space is the cube formed by all the possible value combinations of the red, green and blue axis.

HSB is the cube formed by hue, saturation and brightness.

When the pixel rows are drawn as trajectories in one of these spaces, contrasting colors among adjacent pixels will result in longer jumps within the space, and will therefore become much more visible.

Thus, this visualization method brings forward color variations, but also the general shape of the color palette the image is using.

Lines are tinted according to their departure location.

You can see more images at the Flickr set, or download the source code and user your own images.

To run the sketch, you will need Processing, which you can download here, and the excellent PeasyCam library by Jonathan Feinberg

Sorry, no online version because OpenGL makes it difficult. Happy 3D walks!

NBC in hsb

Rothko in rgb

Gauguin in hsb

Dos entrevistasDos entrevistas

Recientemente fui entrevistado en el contexto de dos interesantes iniciativas argentinas: por Victoria Messi para El pez eléctrico y por Lila Pagola para Proyecto Nómade.

Vicky grabó una entrevista en la que hablé sobre mi trabajo y en particular sobre dos obras, Dreamlines y Wish Café. Por cierto, su blog El pez eléctrico es un excelente recurso sobre la actividad de artistas que trabajan con nuevas tecnologías en Latinoamérica. Reúne una cantidad creciente de entrevistas en video, puestas en contexto por las acertadas introducciones que Vicky escribe para cada una de ellas.




Lila se interesó específicamente por mi relación con el software libre, y el uso que hago del mismo en mi labor artística. Tal es el tema de la iniciativa Proyecto Nómade. La mía forma parte de una serie de entrevistas que Lila realizó con vistas a una presentación en ISEA2010 RUHR, un simposio sobre arte electrónico que tendrá lugar en Alemania en los próximos días.

old unfinished projects: luuperold unfinished projects: luuper

Luuper is a painting / animation tool that I developed (up to a certain point) in year 2007. The basic idea was that you could make an animated drawing just by the act of painting on a canvas with a choice of generative brushes, and frames were added to the timeline just by holding your 'brush' down. It was supposed to be a tool to create animations without the complexities that are usually associated with that.

You can play around with the editing tool. Here's a link to it:

Instructions: paint around, explore the brushes on your right, tweak the settings for each of them, and pick new colors.

This was going to be part of a broader social network, where you could save your paintings or 'luups' and favorite / comment / share them much in the same way you can do with pics or vids in Flickr or YouTube.

Eventually, I dropped the project because I was too busy with other stuff, like earning my life, and decided to pursue other ideas which seemed better at the moment.

But now, going back to this proof of concept from what feels like a century ago, I find it surprisingly compelling, and funny to play with. So I thought I'd share it with the world, just as it is and in the state where I left it.

You can also take a look at the page mockups for the planned social site: here's the homepage and an item page. Hope ya like it.

Visualizar '09: Dataviz fun in MadridVisualizar '09: Dataviz fun in Madrid

On November 2009 I had the wonderful opportunity of taking part in Visualizar ’09, a workshop on data visualization organized in Madrid, Spain, by Medialab Prado.

This year’s idea was to work with data produced by governments and public institutions. My proposal was to visualize the gigantic (and fascinating) data body of US patent registrations over the last few decades. It was selected, and a few weeks after that I was flying over the ocean for my first visit to Madrid in almost two decades.
+++

Taller de arte generativoTaller de arte generativo

Próximamente me voy a dar el gusto de dictar un taller sobre uno de mis temas favoritos. El título: "Sistemas generativos: cómo adiestrar a la computadora para que haga arte en lugar de uno".

El lugar es el Medialab del Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires, y el tiempo es todos los lunes entre el 20 de julio y el 31 de agosto de 2009. Más información acerca de cómo inscribirse en el sitio del CCEBA

Dejo aquí el programa, con el ánimo de entusiasmar a los visitantes porteños de este sitio (o extranjeros en Buenos Aires!). Los espero para pensar juntos sobre una nueva manera de pensar. +++

Book cover art: PropagacionesBook cover art: Propagaciones

Some time ago I was contacted by some students from the Architecture School at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, in Santiago, Chile. They asked me for some generative images for the cover of a book they were about to publish. I took the type layout they had designed as a base for making a series of generative variations, with the same kind of particle system I've used for similar works in the past.

They chose one of them and used it in the book. I'm not totally happy with the result: especially, the title gets mingled with the background drawing in a way that makes it partly unreadable. Bad thing. It wasn't me. But otherwise, I think the fluid drawing wrapped all around the cover looks fine.

The student group is called 'Criptonita' and, beyond publishing this book about new ways of thinking the Architecture, they develop a wide range of activities. You can take a look at their site: www.criptonita.cl

And now, the images: +++

Force KnotsForce Knots

A new generative experiment is just out of the oven. Here’s the recipe: a swarm of autonomous particles and some hidden attractors that exert different kinds of influence on them. The force fields of the attractors overlap, so particles are under several effects at once. In those intersections is where the most interesting configurations arise. +++

Leer sobre Net Art (en castellano!)Leer sobre Net Art (en castellano!)

Durante la preparación del taller sobre Net Art que estoy dictando en el Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires, confirmé una sospecha: los desarrollos teóricos sobre el tema son escasos y difíciles de encontrar. Después de transitar variados rincones de la Web en esa búsqueda, grande fue mi sorpresa y alegría cuando tropecé con un conjunto de artículos que, no solo son en su mayoría pertinentes e interesantes, sino que están en castellano. Un verdadero privilegio para los hispanoparlantes: yo no pude dar con nada parecido en inglés (si existe, por favor háganmelo saber!)

Le debemos esta excelente compilación al pensador, curador y crítico madrileño José Luis Brea, que los reunió en el marco del proyecto aleph (1997-2002). Él mismo es autor de varios de los artículos disponibles, y fue una segunda sorpresa grata descubrir la agudeza y claridad de sus ideas.

Por ejemplo, en el taller hemos leído "net.art: (no)arte, en una zona temporalmente autónoma", que dio lugar a una provechosa discusión sobre el lugar de el arte para Internet en el contexto más amplio de las metamorfosis del arte en general durante la modernidad, como resultado de su colisión con fenómenos tales como el desarrollo técnico y la estetización general de la vida bajo el sistema capitalista.

Durante los encuentros que restan (vamos justo por la mitad!) seguramente leeremos algún otro de estos textos. Ah sido un poquillo provocador de mi parte tirar estos baldes de teoría sobre algo que, como se sigue de su nombre, "Taller de Tecnologías para el Net Art", deposita mucho peso en la producción y las herramientas prácticas. Mi posición personal es que detenerse un rato a pensar sobre lo que se hace es una manera de enriquecer la práctica artística, ampliar sus fundamentos y abrir sus posibilidades. Por suerte quienes participan en el taller recibieron mi iniciativa con interés y ganas de pensar juntos.

Aquí el vínculo: http://aleph-arts.org/pens/index.htm

Teaching a workshop: Tecnologías para el Net ArtTeaching a workshop: Tecnologías para el Net Art

Is Net Art still alive? Well, it is in Buenos Aires! I'm now in the process of teaching a workshop on the subject at the Centro Cultural de España. There are 15 people that will devote 40 hours of their lives to learn and think about this, and develop their own projects. We have enough time to reach deep on several topics. I'm proposing a cocktail of theory, history and practice, and trying to make it enjoyable for everyone (including me!).

This is not officially launched to the public, but you can take a look nevertheless: There's a site I developed for the workshop, consisting mainly of a database of net art works, tagged by date and topic, and a nice interactive visualization for browsing it. Mind you, it's all in Spanish!

With the collaboration of the students, I hope to round up an interesting mass of projects by the end of this experience, that can remain as a resource for Spanish-speakers with an interest on the subject.

You can peek here: http://solaas.com.ar/netart