Aesthetics Art Art Computing Free Software Generative Art Projects

Streaming Aesthetics: Shape

Streaming Aesthetics: Shapes
Here’s the code for Streaming Aesthectics: Shape . You can compile and run it in Processing.

It follows Twitter to see when people tweet shape names and then draws those shapes, packing them inside each other.

There’s some unused code for more complex shapes, but “star” and “cross” appear in the Twitter firehose more often than geometric shape names.

Next is Streaming Aesthetics: Pattern .

Art Free Culture Projects

The Urinal Is In A Show

The Urinal project is being presented as part of a collection called:

Free Yourself?

Curated by Furtherfield, in:

International Art in Village Halls
Penryn Town Hall
Private View: Friday April 15th
6.30pm – 8.30pm

Aesthetics Art Art Computing Culture Free Culture Politics

An Aesthetics Of Disappearance

I stumbled over this anti-face-recognition project again and, post-“world’s ugliest t-shirt” from “Zero History” I enjoyed it even more:

This technique can work in reverse, causing false positives and misdirected automated actions:

And it can use objects other than faces, operating on sensors other than 2D cameras:

When more and more human activity is being structured and quantized to make machine processing easier, aesthetics can disrupt this.

“…the opacity of the aesthetic offers some much needed resistance to the kinds of transparency increasingly demanded…”

An “Aesthetics Of Disappearance” and of false positives

[Via Netbehaviour]

Art Free Culture

Artistic Freedom Of Speech Under Threat

In the US a judge has declared a series of paintings illegal because of copyright. They cannot be shown by their owners:

This will have a chilling effect on artistic production in the US. It’s also deeply silly.

In the EU a clothing manufacturer is suing an artist for making a painting including an image of one of their handbags. Again:—-genocide-maybe.shtml

This would have a chilling effect on artistic production in the EU if we had any kind of Fair Use culture here to chill.

But don’t worry, Fair Use still applies to lawyers’ blogs when they want to explain that it shouldn’t apply to artists:

Permission culture and censorship may seem reasonable when they don’t apply to you. But they’re not.

This is the worst environment I’ve seen for artistic freedom in the West in some years. We urgently need to promote and protect artistic freedom as part of free culture and freedom of speech in general.

Art Art History Free Culture Projects

Shapeways Urinal Print

My print of the Urinal has just arrived from Shapeways.

Here it is in its packaging with an SD Card for scale:


And here’s a tasteful installation shot of it:

The original blog post about this project, with links to the source files, is here.
Art Projects

Urinal Follow-Up

The conversation in the comments at Thingiverse has been great, do take a look –

And the BotFarm printed one! –

Art Art History Free Culture Projects

Freeing Art History: Urinal

I commissioned the ultra-talented cwebber to make a 3D model of a urinal suitable for 3D printing and signing. It’s licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence. Here’s a picture of it:

urinal.pngYou can download the original Blender file here.

And there’s a version suitable for 3D printing available for download here.

Which you can also download from thingiverse here.

(You’ll need to scale it to fit your printer.)

If you don’t have a 3D printer yet, you can order a 3D print of the model from Shapeways here. If it’s too large/expensive you can upload and print a smaller version.

Next I’d like to commission a 3D printable model of a glass ampoule suitable for containing a small volume of air from a town such as Paris…

Art Art Computing Art History

Explor Update

example6.pngI have updated my Explor compiler.

The new version uses a shared library for the Explor functions, and cats the source file to the Fortran compiler along with a file that contains the “END” command rather than creating an intermediate file.

You’ll need git, autotools, libtool and g77 installed. On Fedora the command to install them is something like:

su -c "yum install git gcc-gfortran libtool autoconf automake"

Fetch the source code:

git clone

Set up the build environment:

cd explor



And install:

su -c "make install"

You can then make a test image:

cd examples
explor example6.explor

This will print messages something like this:

Compiling example6.explor to example6
Running example6 with output to

And if you open the resulting .ps file, you’ll see the image at the top of this post.

Art Art Computing Art History Art Open Data

Art Data Analysis: Art & Language

art&lang_index1-01.jpgArt & Language are a conceptual art group founded in the late 1960s in England. Much of their early work didn’t look like art. It was essays, mathematical notation, transcripts of conversations, all different kinds of written materials. Faced with the opportunity to exhibit in a gallery setting to an artworld audience, A&L needed a way of realistically presenting their work in a way that a viewer who hadn’t been part of the original conversations might have a chance of being able to navigate the results.

161.jpgA&L’s solution was to assemble copies of all the texts in filing cabinets and produce an index to them. Texts were given “markers” (tags) and indexes of the relationships between each text’s tags were produced in print or on microfilm. Mainframe computer time was used to create the index for Index 04, although reports differ on which computer was used and whether the index was in fact random or not.
162.jpgThis is an obvious forerunner to Google or It is also a use of what would now be regarded as search technology to produce a genuinely artistic solution to a genuine artistic problem.

Aesthetics Art Art Computing Art Open Data Culture

Art Data Analysis: Software Studies

TimeDIff_SUM_ALL_color_reduced.jpgLev Manovich’s Software Studies initiative at UCSD is applying big data quantitative methods to mass media in a technique called Cultural Analytics. I particularly like their studies of US Presidential campaign ads (image above) and of manga images.

If art is the superstructure of kitsch or if an artist is an aesthetic summator then this is paradigmatic art, using the techniques of the age to depict the visual environment as renaissance artists used trade maths.