Lots going on these days. I think this might be the busiest I have been since I moved out here. But luckily, these projects are a hell of a lot of fun so I aint complainin’.
Us Barbarians are working on another gallery installation for the McLeod Residence located in Seattle. It is actually two installations but they are both going up at once and will be opening to the public on July 6th.
The first room has seven light boxes so we did a series of prints partially based on the Magnetic Structure pieces I posted here a few months back. It is a fairly exciting and new (to me at least) process to get these prints made. I use Processing to make a 3D construct out of magnetically charged particles and then export the particles’ x, y, and z positions to a text file. Fellow Barbarian Andrew Bell uses MEL scripting to pull the data into Maya and with a little isosurface trickery (developed by Andrew and his friend Hai), he creates really lovely structures that look like a cross between electron microscopy and origami. Here are a few of the test prints (the final prints are on Duratrans and will be 40″x30″). They look spectacular! I am really excited to see them installed.
If we get enough positive feedback, we will probably offer them as limited edition matte prints. I will post more photos after the installation opens in July.
The second room has much more going on and I am only going to hint at the depth of the installation. The theme of the room is biomimetic butterflies. Yeah, I had to look that word up too. Basically, its a room dedicated to procedurally generated butterflies. The final piece will incorporate elements developed with Processing and Maya, and will include laser cut materials, Arudino boards, and lots and lots of magnets.
Here is a test print of a set of butterflies whose wing patterns were made with Voronoi cells and magnetism.
The outline of the butterfly wings was made procedurally with Processing (based on the wing form of the African Monarch). I placed magnetic particles all along the contour of the wing, dropped in a few gravity particles and a few hundred magnetic particles and let them settle into place. These particles are then used as the center sites for a Voronoi algorithm to create the vein-like structure that spreads through the form.
These Voronoi wings are but a sampling of the many different types of algorithms that are being explored to create a nice variety of wing forms. I will be posting more about it once the installation is complete and hope to have better documentation of the piece.