Looking deeper into graphics

I was leafing through a text of mine, Generative Design. It’s a beautiful text of artists and designers that use Processing within their practice. I highly recommend the book. It is extremely well designed as a book that discusses programming, gradually building up to more complicated code, and folks in the field that utilize these processes. It’s beautiful, visual and wonderful for learning about the process of creating work like those featured in the text.

Initially, my idea was just to have color fields change across the felt. After looking at the text, I am mesmerized by Eno Henze‘s work – and in particular – Ambushes, which was a commissioned wall mural for the Maxlot Gallery. The shapes, forms and color clouds that he creates are beautiful and organic. They have this feeling of an ethereal blanket, creating this atmosphere of movement that one could walk amongst.

I’ve always been unsatisfied with just making one object or one graphic, hence my affinity with installations. Henze creates these pieces from an algorithm that generates multiple agents, giving each agent slightly different parameters or characteristics. Together, they build a space which has variance and depth. I’m thinking more about the tiny creatures that create the bioluminescent color fields. They exist within a space, they aren’t the space alone and the space isn’t flat.

My plan is becoming more detailed, as the aspects I envision become clear. I will program an atmosphere for this agents to appear and move within. This atmosphere will have depth, and not be a flat graphic. The agents will be organic in their shape and movement.

To help support this, in addition to the Generative Design text, I’ll be taking another look at Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman. Shiffman has a wonderful way of teaching different aspects of programming. My students love his texts. Nature of Code discusses different methods of how to create organic processes through code. I highly recommend all his texts.