This week I am excited by my latest (new to me) exploration of something referred to as Generative Art.
Folks working in Data Visualization are likely familiar with this. I am having fun specifically with something called processing; described in a Zenbullet blog post as, the entry point to generative art. “Processing” uses an artist/user friendly version of Java to write algorithms that then execute in a browser or application window, dynamically drawing and/or animating an image constructed based on the parameters you set in the Java code functions (think scripting in second life with lsl) and on your interactions (some is mouse click/movement driven) . Obviously, you can see from my confusing definition that I barely know what I’m talking about. Still, I see a ton of possibilities. Some of the images animations are so beautiful, some of the interactions are mapped to live action film and sound (Think Dizzy Banjo and his immersive sound installation at Dynafleur). The possibilities are exciting. First an example:Extrude sample from processing. from Alexander Zats on Vimeo.
Extrude example from processing taken to the next level. Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhx_wocfVxA
See more on the Zenbullet blog or here. Very cool stuff I think.
I can’t help but wonder if there are ways to embed some of this coding and interactivity into the Linden Scripting language… maybe not… but what about using some of the dreaded Viewer 2.x style media functionality? Similar to AM Radio’s (IDIA Lab "Destination"); in which, perhaps we could pass a few parameters (background colors/images, stroke color, speed or number of iterations – similar to particle scripting) then trigger an existing algorithm. Imagine some shapes (orbiting, rotating, etc) textured with media loops of these animations that respond to mouse clicks… set them semi transparent and to phantom and immerse your avatar in a hallucination of sorts.
At this point, I’m excited about something I don’t know much about… perhaps some of the scripter’s out there have or will consider the possibilities (Oberon? … Glyph?.... others?). I’d love to see some explorations of this in world.
What are the tools? Want more info? The Zenbullet’s page is a good inspirational jumping off point. It was there I found the link to processing.org. Download the free development environment. It comes with text editor and testing window – complete w/ automatic html generation for posting to the web). Be sure to check out the examples at both sites. Lastly see the Processing.org tutorials and wiki (if the wiki loads saying there is no content - click the large P icon on the page to load the content - In Firefox 4.x I ran into this).
Chaos, Entropy, Order & Decay from Robward Antwerp on Vimeo.
Music by - Airtone... sampled from their song called Cricket soup.
airtone / CC BY-NC 3.0
Don’t be intimidated by these tools… the Processor tool is very friendly and specifically aimed at non-programmers with some good tutorials. Here is a simple example I completed after my first brief tutorial.