Harmono Project

see also 0502.2156

A culmination of the work with harmonographs, this piece incorporates a sound track which was constructed using techniques analogous to the curves, and a voice-over which makes links between the abstract forms and social, sexual, and computational concepts. It is the first step in a narrativizing thrust of the work.

Instantiations #9 (The Stack)

1000 numbered curves in a continuous tweened loop inhabit two reams of office paper. In the gallery, visitors were invited to take away pages from the stack and interupt the continuity of the tween.

The accompanying animation shows all 1000 curves as if the stack of paper were used as a flip book.

Instantiations #7 & #8 (The Animations)

In addition to the superimposition of images, there is a time-based strategy of accumulation of variation in sequence. These two pieces use this technique. They also embed the curve within other systematic relations.

Instantiations #6 (The Aggregates)

This series investigates the effects of accumulated random figures. As in the work of abstract expressionists like Pollack, the aggration of rendered gestures define a characteristic mood that adheres to the nature of the media rather than seeking to transcend it.

Instantiations #4 & #5 (The Tweens)

Because these curves have a kind of double ontology–they exist as figures, i.e. lines with a certain shape that can be drawn on screen or printed out on paper, and as a set of parameters within a complex parametric equation, i.e. a set of constitutive numbers, not unlike genetic material, from which they can be generated–they have specific manipulable properties. One of these is the ability to measure and interpolate the distance between any pair or set of figures.

Instantiations #3 (The Subjective)

Each of these panels contains a set of 4 images selected from a superset of 1000 randomly generated curves. This piece focuses on the interface between the machinic process of generation and the subjective process of selection. The grouplings formed on the basis of percieved similarity have little relation to the actual parameters which produce the work. The projective tendencies of the mind attribute characteristics like curliness, roundness, or even femininity, energy or wierdness to what are merely inert lines.

Instantiations #2 (The Multitude)

These pieces show the range of variation that is possible within this simple system. Each panel contains a set of 24 randomly generated curves. Titles are the dates and times of generation.


This work explores the possibilities within a single system for creating random highly variable curves based on a harmonograph simulation. The harmonograph was a popular scientific toy of the late 19th century (lately making a comeback in contemporary science museums) which drew complicated Lissajous figures by attaching a pen to a multidimensional pendulum.