Okay, let's talk a bit about my studio work.
Above is a pic of some cells living off each other's energy. As I mentioned before, I got the code for this from a guy named Michael "Flux" Chang who is a student at UCLA, and a very helpful fellow. I have since migrated the original proce55ing code into java and am writing pure java from here on out.
proce55ing, incidentally, is a free scripting language for simple graphics written in a subset of java by a couple of guys who started the work at MIT, I think. Check out www.proce55ing.org
if you're curious. It's much better than Flash for any images that are algorithmically driven... i.e. anything that requires a lot of computation to decide what to draw.
My little cellular system is a work in progress... basically these individuals form networks (as seen in the second image, above) of energy exchange, which keeps them alive. I've added a whole class of information objects that the individuals exchange each time they meet. What I'm trying to model is this incidental exchange of information that piggy-backs on an essential connection. I have more work to do on this... my goal is to have the information that the cells exchange actually be about how they interconnect, so that as they trade ideas
it changes the way they organize themselves. Or something like that.
I have a background in software development, mostly programming in C++, so I have been enjoying, to some extent, the chance to get back
into coding. The quantity of control I have over what's going on on the screen is so satisfying (compared to working in an animation tool
where I am always choosing from options I don't like). But I'm not quite sure where this work is leading. I'm going to take a step back over the next couple of days, try to read these ideas into film, and
try to develop a larger narrative for my project.
Thankfully Ed K. encourages us to work in parallel, between reading and film analysis, 'diagramming', and developing our own focused ideas of how we want to intervene in the larger "site" of the studio (see my entry called "Week 4, right?" for a little more info on the studio). He also has what I would call a very mature approach to the diagram. He is encouraging us -- through various means, be they coding cellular automata, creating dynamic models in Maya, or physical models (one guy is doing pours of hot wax and cold water, etc.) -- to create complex
scenarios from which we can extract organizational patterns. Rather than "building the diagram", however, we will then try to find analogies or parallels in human structures (physical, social) at all sorts of scales. So some things might make sense at the scale of a family, some at the scale of the city.
Actually before we take these patterns to the real world, we're reading them into films, which I'm starting to realize is a pretty good technique. Film provides a designed, structured view of reality that can be a useful bridge between the abstraction of diagrams and the messiness of everyday life. But I haven't really tried to analyze any films as yet, so I am jumping the gun...
Oh, and I've discoverd that Ed has a design firm, in partnership with his wife Carla Leitao, that does architecture (well, they are finally building something, I think). They have a nice website, that I can't
for the life of my find on Google. I will include a link shortly (I'll have to ask around).