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Category Archives: Art & Computation

This is a nice tool for interactive drawing. Using Jay’s application you can draw really complex (and cool!) looking images. It’s basically a line drawing tool where you just put dots on the canvas and they create lines – But the trick is, the new point you put gets connected with the nearest dots you already drew. The result is a geometric line explosion and it really looks incredible if you use it the right way (just look at the images). There is a <a title=”web app for sketchy structures” href=” web application that you can instantly play with and also an Adobe Illustrator Scriptographer script  (for the latter, take a look at scriptographer page on how to install and use it- it’s an amazingly good tool for illustrator fans!, you’ll thank me..)

Google Creative Lab engineer/designer Alexander Chen turned NY subway lines into an interactive musical instrument. Very neat and minimal, yet pretty poetic in a way. Developed in HTML5 and the subway template is based on Massimo Vignelli’s original design. Each subway line becomes a string and with each intersection you get a pluck. The length of a line also determines the pitch and how the lines emerge is determined by using MTA’s live arriving and departure times, plus some of Chen’s additions. Likes!

(click on the image to see how it works)


This java based application transforms a simple product bar code into a unique tree in the garden of globalization. Taking advantage of this rich pool of information Barcode Plantage creates a series of visualizations based on a set of default bar codes. Once a bar code is keyed or scanned in, the program sends a request to the database, which returns a master file data. This master file data is then analyzed to define positions, curves and colors of Bezier curves of the tree structure. The number of these curves will vary correspondence to the number of figures in the code. Simultaneously, the user will hear a melody, which is based on the figures of the bar code. To complete the visualized information details of the country of origin, manufacturer, product number and sum – each on a single black bar connected by fine lines ? are displayed. Since all data is being interpreted by an algorithm that works completely without any random aspect each product is represented by a characteristic and singular tree. [Visual Complexity]

SU/VACD alumnus Başar Önal is currently a PhD student at SPIRE, the Participatory Innovation Research Centre at the University of Southern Denmark and also works as a researcher at DRU, the Design Research Unit at the Interactive Institute. His portfolio, which consists of intelligent, sophisticated art and computation hybrid projects can be viewed here:

Wettext (above): The prototype is a modified DIY lie-detector. Normally the detector senses the stress reaction (moisture) in one’s fingertips and signals it. In my model, the output is used to delete and recombine the parts of the old text in order to produce a real-time, animated, new body of text. The old text is presented alongside the new one, and the person connected to the detector will be producing a constantly changing written piece.

Maximachines (above): The idea for this conceptual robot is devised with the concept of visceral design (Donald Norman). It is conceived with an apocalyptical, post-crash future in mind. These robots are a thinking exercise for a dystopian future, and would be useless in a future with pleasantly aligned resources. Thus, there needs to be an environment of risk, both physical and psychological in order to accommodate these kinds of robots. They can act as objects of psychological projection in times of distress, objects of reflection, and perform a function that would otherwise be harmful for humans.

Stunning project by Stefanie Posavec.

The images shown here are a visualization of Part One from the book On the Road by Jack Kerouac. In this piece, entitled Literary Organism, each literary component was divided hierarchically into even smaller parts – Part, Chapters, Paragraphs, Sentences, and ultimately Words, the smallest branch in the diagram. Stephanie also created different colors to distinguish the eleven thematic categories she created for the entirety of On the Road.

Also read more here:

After I watched the movie Avatar I’ve encountered a great remark by Rich Johnson, regarding the movie’s ‘hilarious’ type choice on the poster. Yes! we’re talking about Windows’ default font ‘Papyrus’. It is a font that was probably designed to resemble the written text on papyrus by the scribes of the ‘ancient’ world.

When you think how much money they spent on such a movie, it is so ironic them to pick up one of the ‘cheapest’ looking font. The poster looks like they patched the font in the last minute just right before it went off to the printing house. If they wanted to go ‘expressive’ with their type choice, I would expect an original type (perhaps a custom font for a custom Avatar world?), just like the original Avatars and their fabulous land and its living creatures. The type I’ve been suggesting does not have to ‘look’ like an Avatar, perhaps, function like an Avatar’s physiological structure.

Make sure you visit Rich Johnson‘s post. There are plenty of great comments and pictures of Papyrus being used in miscellaneous ads.

P.S By the way, I’m blown away with the movie! Amazing creativity…


Almacan is a truly extraordinary artist from Japan who uses 3D software to create paintings which are delicate and detailed combinations of steampunk, biology and anatomical drawings.

A very beautiful combination of Typography and Data Visualization is Crystal hy-map created by David Bihanic from the University of Paris/Pantheon Sorbonne.

Beyond this the portal Visual Complexity is a treasure trove of information visualization and design hybrid projects. Definitely check it out. You will find much to inspire you here.


Such is the wonderful world of search results on google that in an inadvertent manner it helped me locate something that I was looking for and the name of which I had forgotten. When Murat posted tag galaxy on the arts and computation blog I was immediately reminded of a stunning data visualization project on Flickr. But try as I might I could not remember what it was called. And then I woke up one morning to find that someone, somewhere in the world had conducted a search using the terms “flickr information visualization” and had found us. However number one on the search results was Time Graphs, which was the piece that I was looking for!

So here it is: Ladies and gentlemen, Time Graphs!


A MoMa interactive exhibition, the link for which was sent to me by Damla Tamer, an alumna of our program herself. Not only do the links lead to some really mind blowing projects but the website’s interface is rewarding in and of itself:

Nokia has made some really great collaborations with artists. Definitely check it out here!

Read more here.

World Builder by Bruce Branit is one video which no one should miss. Enjoy!