Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tiny Sketching

As a kind of test pattern to fill the current break in transmission, here are my contributions to Tiny Sketch, an OpenProcessing / Rhizome competition (open until mid September) for Processing sketches under 200 characters.

In Bit Sunset I just load the pixels[] array, pick a random block of pixels, and add a large number to their value. This process throws up some surprising results as the colour values gradually increase, then start pushing into the alpha bits of the ARGB integer; eventually, as it fills the alpha bits, it settles into a pallette of pinks and greens that are gradually smashed into pixel-dust.

Albers Clock was an attempt to slow the pace of TinySketch even further; it visualises the current time in the form of an Albers square, with three colours, one each for hour, minute and second. I also like that it creates an image that is synchronous (within timezones, at least), unlike the asynchronous, individualised runtimes of most sketches.

There are dozens of amazing sketches in this collection - it's a fascinating microcosm (in every sense) of the current Processing / generative / code art scene. Given the tight constraints it's not surprising to see some demoscene virtuousity in the code - like Martin Schneider's Sandbox, a physical simulation painting app in 200 characters. There is also some classic software art conceptualism and reflexivity - like Jerome St Clair's Joy Division cover and Kyle MacDonald's Except. Great to see projects like this - and OpenProcessing itself - reviving applet culture in an open source, web2.0-flavoured way.