Monday, April 30, 2007


The Twister Forms

The Twister Forms (2000)

My dream starts to get strange
on The Plains. Blue balloons
drift over my town as rain mode begins
and gusts curve. In one fictive package
hot moves up when I swing my arms
demolishing clever word games.

Shuffled letters soon drown
and my notebook paper
driven back into trees.


It's that time of the year again here in Arkansas...


Twister (2001)

Head for shelter under an overpass...or maybe not...


Rooms with a View
Blog with a View

The Twister Forms made with Sterling-ware. Twister made with Fractal Zplot. Both post-processed to the point of gale force. Poem made from scratch and found in a notebook from 2005.


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Friday, April 27, 2007

A new planet for us?

The comments in the press around the discovery of the new planet are presuming there are life conditions in some way very similar to Earth. Despite the dimensions of the planet (5 times Earth’s size) which would make impossible for us to live and procreate there :-), I was smiling while reading the news. Not commenting about the distance from Earth – that would not be a problem since is believable that mankind will have the technology to travel spatial distances at light speed in about 100 or 150 years more - we could presume if the new planet has a civilization already established, we can’t just go there and conquer them.

Another point is that if the new planet could offer similar conditions of life to the ones of the Earth, will not be any reason for the mankind to save our devastated planet. Instead of that expensive and politically controversial decision, let’s just take a new one!! Such could be a strategy of our future. It’s not surprising how indulgent the press have been about that - saying that we could "move" from the Earth.

Such a presumption just opens another horrible possibility which is the reduction of investments for reconstruction of Earth’s devastated areas like oceans, lakes, rivers, deserts and intensively populated areas suffering of environmental degradation. I think a new ideology can be perceived in the interstices of the news about the discovery. And the ordinary people amazed with the adventure of space colonization will be ready and happy to assume such a possibility which is to abandon Earth and left it as it is for the poorest.

On another way, I’m very pleased to live on the Earth at this moment which I consider "historic" - mankind incorporating in the daily language the conquest of space on a level of consumption :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Soft Approach

A lot of fractals out there seem to have a hard edge to them. They will be vibrant, colorful and well defined.

Sometimes, however, a soft approach can be a good thing. The "Radial Blur" variant in Apophysis makes this easy to achieve.

Blue Sands

Blue Sands



Optical Echo

Optical Echo

and lastly

Soft Geometry

Soft Geometry

The above are all available as desktop wallpaper, just click on the image and then download the "large" version.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring is Here

Yay! So that calls for a nice cheerful fractal...

Philip's Home Page
Philip's Blog

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sol LeWitt is gone (to the heaven).

Much has been written on Sol LeWitt´s work. Instead of adding something that others can better say I prefer just to reproduce his Sentences on Conceptual Art (First published in 1969), that became a key moment on the idea of art today.

The structures he explored on his works derived from elements of the cube and its drawings on wall redefined the parameters of the art in years 70, and continue to influence the artists of the new generations for their simplicity and for their Metaphysical aura.

It´s interesting for us, digital artists, to see how the concepts of LeWitt can be explored (and extended) in the work of programmers-artists like Casey Reas.

About the possibility that Sol left to the heaven - and not to the hell - I assume it due the "Clarity, beauty, playfulness. Simplicity, logic, openness. The words that come to mind when describing the work of Sol LeWitt resonate with essential aesthetic and intellectual values. His works are straightforward and legible. Yet, upon closer observation and consideration, even those that initially appear direct and obvious reveal complex subtlety in decision-making. Intellectual substance is paired with visual delight, both of which seep into one's consciousness."

Isn´t that enough to take a man to the heaven:-)?
Goodbye Sol, world isn´t anymore so beautiful as it was when you still were among us.

The fundamental sentences:

1. Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.

2. Rational judgements repeat rational judgements.

3. Irrational judgements lead to new experience.

4. Formal art is essentially rational.

5. Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.

6. If the artist changes his mind midway through the execution of the piece he compromises the result and repeats past results.

7. The artist's will is secondary to the process he initiates from idea to completion. His wilfulness may only be ego.

8. When words such as painting and sculpture are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the artist who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond the limitations.

9. The concept and idea are different. The former implies a general direction while the latter is the component. Ideas implement the concept.

10. Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.

11. Ideas do not necessarily proceed in logical order. They may set one off in unexpected directions, but an idea must necessarily be completed in the mind before the next one is formed.

12. For each work of art that becomes physical there are many variations that do not.

13. A work of art may be understood as a conductor from the artist's mind to the viewer's. But it may never reach the viewer, or it may never leave the artist's mind.

14. The words of one artist to another may induce an idea chain, if they share the same concept.

15. Since no form is intrinsically superior to another, the artist may use any form, from an expression of words (written or spoken) to physical reality, equally.

16. If words are used, and they proceed from ideas about art, then they are art and not literature; numbers are not mathematics.

17. All ideas are art if they are concerned with art and fall within the conventions of art.

18. One usually understands the art of the past by applying the convention of the present, thus misunderstanding the art of the past.

19. The conventions of art are altered by works of art.

20. Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.

21. Perception of ideas leads to new ideas.

22. The artist cannot imagine his art, and cannot perceive it until it is complete.

23. The artist may misperceive (understand it differently from the artist) a work of art but still be set off in his own chain of thought by that misconstrual.

24. Perception is subjective.

25. The artist may not necessarily understand his own art. His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others.

26. An artist may perceive the art of others better than his own.

27. The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.

28. Once the idea of the piece is established in the artist's mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly. There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.

29. The process is mechanical and should not be tampered with. It should run its course.

30. There are many elements involved in a work of art. The most important are the most obvious.

31. If an artist uses the same form in a group of works, and changes the material, one would assume the artist's concept involved the material.

32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.

33. It is difficult to bungle a good idea.

34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art.

35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Forgotten Bullseye(s)

I was really bored and on a random trawl through my old graphics, I came upon this piece:

Bright Buoy

Its so old that I only rendered it at 450 by 450 and I can't remember what I did to get it!

Below is another fractal, similar theme, same story (very old, can't exactly remember how it happened).

Super String

First graphic reminds me of a dartboard, the second is like one of those old spirograph patterns.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Making of

I like the "making of" now present in almost all DVD. Sure, most of them are crap but some are very good. Sometimes the making of can be better than the main feature. Sometime , for never made movies, the making of has become the main feature like in the case of "Lost in La Mancha" the story of a disaster. Making of exist also for paintings and I remember having seen a wonderful documentary that shows Picasso composing a painting directly on the screen stroke by stroke.
Also seeing a rehearsal of a play can be sometime a lot more interesting that seeing the final result.

A good "making of" let's you enter in the mind of the author and see the creative process from inside.

This group of images is the "making of" of

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Communist Easter Egg Hunt

Sharing is Good.

Probably most people would agree with that. Then there was the case of the class in Hawaii, where all the students handed in an identical assignment. The teacher, a newcomer to the islands, was rather upset, but the students didn't see anything wrong. They were from a background that valued cooperation above competition. Cooperation and competition. Order and chaos. As with fractals, there can be amusing interactions. Such as when competitors cooperate by fixing prices. Or when cartels are doublecrossed by members who undercut. Or work teams where 2% of the people do the work, for the same pay the other 98 gets. Which brings me to the communist easter egg hunt. I heard of a family where the children would find the eggs and bring them to a central table. The eggs would then be divided out evenly among everybody. All very civilized. But somehow the anarchic egg hunts seem more amusing. Kids screaming "mine!" and pointing fiercely to an egg sitting on a lamp shade or wherever. Pushing past each other in a mad stampede to get an egg into their hot little hands. The innocence of youth. My late aunt had a policy. Santa Claus was allowed but only for kids up to age 12, however she wasn't having the easter bunny under any circumstances. You have to draw the line somewhere.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Gold Mirage

Sometimes the past fails us, and we have to write our own ancient legends. The 8th voyage of Sindbad, and other things that were probably imagined, but never recorded. How many books could be filled with the things that are unwritten?

Ideas come and go. Swirling, returning. Maybe a story has to be told several times before it's written just once.

There is a very old Arab legend, dating back well before the times of Sindbad, and even of Bagdad itself, about a mysterious sandstorm. Like a dust devil or tornado in size, it would swallow up lost travellers, even whole caravans and take any gold they were carrying. All it would take actually, was their money.

As the legend goes, this storm rages on continuously somewhere in the desert, becoming richer and richer as time goes by collecting more money from travellers.

As is the case with sea monsters and other terrifying things, enough survivors exist to keep the memory of this mysterious sand storm alive, but not enough to make it entirely credible to most people. This is where Sindbad comes in. Sindbad, although advanced in years and finished with travelling, is still as curious as ever and likes to hear of the fresh adventures of others.

Always hospitable, he invites to his home a man he recently met while downtown in the bazaar. The man appears to be slightly crazy but also harmless and more importantly, full of the fresh stories of adventure that Sindbad is craving to hear these days. He tells Sindbad the story of the Gold Mirage that lured him out into the desert and which turned out to be the mysterious sand storm.

Is it the money that entices Sindbad to travel? or does he just get bored of the comfortable, but predictable, experience of living in Bagdad?

But this is the 8th voyage of Sindbad. The one that never gets written. The one he never returns from.

If it's any consolation, let me suggest that Sindbad finds the sand storm. It is apparently so full of gold that even when it's far away on the horizon it gleams brightly creating the so-called Gold Mirage that others have seen and gone in search of.

It turns out there's isn't any gold in it. Sindbad reaches the center of the storm without injury and finds that it's just sand swirling around, creating strange, fantastic scenes and sounds. He makes no attempt to escape and joins what he discovers to be thousands of apparently lost travellers who are content to just wander about gazing at the sights in the sand.

Tim Hodkinson

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