six portraits and a song

Well, song. It´s actually a sketch that i just finished. Hons says it should be named „The Waltz of Life“, which i think clearly steps over the thin line between the german word pathetisch and the english pathetic; the lyrics (the muttering in the background) say something like „did it end in tragedy for it began in lust ?“, which is also not completely free of over-emotional attitudes; and i want to dedicate this to the two friends of mine who are about to give up, and i hope not, which is also.

[hons, the tearjerker, is back again]

 

The portraits are the result of using the spaghetti-method that i mentioned in my last post on terrains built from photos, and i am quite happy with the result. About 50×70 centimeters in size, drawn on black paper by my bot, takes about an hour each (except the last one, which is only A4 in size on white paper). The process is still only half-automated, i’m thinking about it. Maybe i can go somewhere like „throw a picture at it, make auto-art, bot starts drawing“. Get rid of the artist.

hills we climb

Back from the beautiful Zillertal in Tirol – where i showed „hills we climb“ at the futurelab conference (see here and here) – i just realized that my living room might be a bit too small for the arena version of my drawing machine, which was the heart of my installation. Gonna have to throw out my sofa, i guess..

The approach of drawing seismographic patterns (as mentioned in my last post) evolved to a more, eh, mountainy output: drawing hills we need to climb. We were in Tirol after all, alps as far as the eye can reach. Still, the idea was to create an installation that is closely related to the topics of the conference while being abstract and slow enough to give room to meditate over our future. So the first step was to collect thousands of scientific papers about these topics (a half automated process, crawling through online databases using keywords like demography, mobility, migration, integration, energy, resources, sustainability, education, technology, innovation etc.).

I then fed this huge body of text through a semantic analysis that gave me a network and weighting of concepts related to these documents and the terms whithin. Following the summit symbolics of the conference subtitles („see the peak“, „reach the peak“) i decided to create mountainscapes of this data, using a kernel that i chose more or less on aesthetic terms. Finally, to create line drawings that my bot can handle, i programmed a physical simulation that can be best described as „throwing spaghetti into a terrain“.

And even if all of this may sound a bit complicated, and considering that building the bot was also a tiny challenge, one of the major hurdles was to find strong, black, unfolded paper with the size of 3 x 2 squaremeters. If you ever need paper this size – or even bigger – the searchterm is „photo background paper“, i got mine from hama at blende7).

So here are some pictures:

 

I am quite happy whit the throwing-spaghetti-method that i developed, and i am definitely going to explore that further. After some tests with portraits i can now clearly see the end of days for my sofa to make room for more experiments with the bot.

hugs, hons

 

 

learning to draw

The idea of building a draw bot has been lingering at the back of my mind for some years now, and the final kick to start building one came in the form of an invitation to show some of my work at a futurelab conference.

The basic idea is to draw seismographic patterns that are based on semantic analyses of online conversations that are related to the topics being discussed at the conference itself. And reading the sentence i just wrote i have to admit: there are still a few things to think about.

But whatever will be drawn, i need a robot that does the drawing live at the conference, and this robot is already in the awakening. So for all your geek porn needs, may i present you: the honsbots first attempt at drawing some basic patterns.

 

hurray,
hons

sonably onite

Everything about this is a quick shot, even the title: leftover words that I had lying around on my harddrive from one of my markov chain text wrangling sessions – does not mean anything as far as I know, but a title was needed.

The music is a sketch that I made for pieces matter – a different version evolved to be the main theme for Lieves performance. And the video is an experiment that I , ehm, experimented, having too much time on my hand while travelling to my brothers home and family by train. A seven hours ride, enough for filming, cutting, color correction. Final touches on the way back.

So if you want to watch me watching the countryside between the place where I live and the place I was born, well, you are welcome:

 

 

And yes, I am a little proud that I managed to listen to myself [see my last post], and no, it didn’t hurt.

 

is it art if it didn’t hurt ?

In my artistic projects i tend to go full circle, taking the complete threesixty in the classic hero’s journey from an inner call to action via a stop at the dark night of the soul [where i usually hang out for a while] and eventually coming out at the other end freed, transformed and with a piece of art that is at least as valuable as the amount of suffering i put into it.

In short: I tend to overcomplicate things.

So i was very much relieved when two things happened that did not hurt at all:

First, Georg approached me with a beautiful left over animation from the gloom video that he did not want to go unnoticed – if i could make some sounds for it, who knows what it´s for. And so i did – who knows what it’s for.

 

 

And then Flo „The Hamster Conspiracy“, who is currently working on a new album with „The Bunny Situation“ (yes !) was in the need of a video-quickie to get his piano miniature online. The task was simple: He only wanted a spectrogram running and i was not allowed to spend more than two hours with the visualization.
Ok, it took me three, but here we go:

Head over to the The Bunny Situation, and if you like it, like it.

[And in the meantime i will try to learn from this, cause it’s much less pain if it doesn’t hurt]