I've been hard at work on my final master's project. Basically I’m creating a physical manifestation of modern society’s insatiable appetite for information regardless of the quality, truthfulness, or value of that information. Sounds heavy. Essentially I'm building an LED device using an Arduino that dynamically generates fake news headlines. People have described watching the "news" scroll by on the device as "mesmerizing". I guess that's kind of the point.
Graphics programs like Illustrator and Photoshop have gotten increasingly complex over time. But what would happen if you stripped off all the bells and whistles and were left with the essence of a graphics editor? Today three friends and I explored that idea using MacPaint, the very first graphics editor to ship with the original Macintosh in 1984. We dubbed our casual collective “Wherewolf” and set out to create a series of posters based on headlines from trashy UK newspapers. We loaded up MacPaint using an old Mac emulator, set a time limit, and began fumbling through the (relatively) ancient interface.
The bookshelf in my sharehouse was kind of a mess after having collected books from years of residents. Plus I’m procrastinating a lot right now. So:
I rearranged the books by color. And now I’m blogging about it. Then I’ll work. I promise.
Hue, saturation and brightness: these three components can be used to describe colors. Normally hue is measured on a 360 degree scale, while saturation and brightness are measured out of 100. In this experiment, I worked with my classmate Anna to map all three components on a scale from 0–45. The following colors were created with Processing using all 1,320 permutations of my and Anna’s lotto numbers: 5, 6, 11, 14, 17, 25, 29, 32, 37, 38, 40, 45. Each color uses three of the numbers, one for hue, one for saturation, and one for brightness.
I’ve been writing programs in the Processing language that play off Jonathan Barnbrook’s album cover for David Bowie’s album The Next Day. My latest program uses elements of the Generative Design workshop I did a few weeks ago. We used different processes to glue black square onto paper. Each square has a set ratio of black to white, giving a different tonality to each square. But through using different processes to apply the black squares, each square has a different visual quality.
The program I wrote analyzes the brightness of pixels in photographs of David Bowie (or anything else) and overlays the images with squares of a similar brightness or “white level”.
Drinks after the first day of the Modual@Mother workshop I’m doing at the ad agency Mother in Shoreditch. The workshop got off to the good start. I saw a lot of great work from the other participants in the workshop, and Mother co-founded Mark Waites spoke to us about keeping your head up and finding inspiration from the world around you. I’m excited to really get started tomorrow.