Mark Wattenberg, Connect the Dots

Wattenberg’s code is the most compact of the three and he focuses our attention on that part of it that “daws the picture,” just 16 lines. There is something strange in the way he has made the code presentable by formatting it in HTML with color-coding, and then included in the code’s

Mark Napeir, 3 Dots

Mark Napier’s 3 Dots code is expansive; some 600 odd lines are spread over three files, and he uses several additional external libraries as well.[13] Even more than Snibbe, Napier makes use of object-oriented strategies. With the Bitmap255 object he creates a visual system capable of drawing translucent lines. In SpringyObject he creates sub-classes for springs and masses that behave according to the laws of physics. An instance of the SpringyObject is a particular system of masses and springs whose elements, locations and velocities can be simulated over time. In the main body of code Napier sets up an instance of such a system (SpringyDots): one fixed mass and a group of 3 movable masses connected by three springs, of varying tension. The spring to the fixed mass is not made visible.

Scott Snibbe, Tripolar

The nearly 300 lines of code in Snibbe’s piece might overwhelm a viewer. Again the applet’s java is color-coded, but in this case, the colors mimic what one would expect to see in a good editor. This is the programmer’s view, color-coded according to the syntax of java itself. And

Thinkings at Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure will be hosting my three-part discussion series called “Thinkings: How computers change the way we see by altering the way we think.”

Tuesday, September 21, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, October 19, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 – 9:00pm

Obama's State of the Union 2010 Visualized

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address has been analyzed and visualized at the State of the Union website. The address was delivered to Congress and the American people by the President on January 27th.

Flock Music

The question of what the group is is vexing. It is hard to conceive of its proper functioning. We seem to constantly be wondering if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.


In Motherwell's  "Elegies to the Spanish Republic," abstractions of bull testicals serve as symbolic links with heroic death in the bloodly tragic war with fascism. He ties the Spanish bullfighting culture—a spectacle of life and death embeded within the everyday—to the contemplation of a specific historical loss.

Simulated Tree

A more naturalistic simulation of the tree avoids obvious fractal geometricizing self-similarities and adds a hint of randomness.

Fractal Tree

The first drawing algorithm I tried, after writing a java driver for my HP7475 plotter, was a recursive tree algorithm. These simple figures based on repeated uniform bifurcations produce almost perfect fractal structures. They are varied by changing the ratio of the left and right branches, the thickness of subsequent branches, etc.