Sometimes an image just captures the eye and I have to do something with it. An image of the newly emerging SARS Coronavirus from a BBC article this week looked beautiful to me, so I googled and found a larger image of it to work with:

After the continuous application and reapplication of filters, I turned it into what you see below. The full resolution image is very large, so I have a low-res version of the whole image along with some screenshots of the work at full resolution so you may see the details.

SARS Coronavirus (Severe Acute Respiratory)-022213-1455-reduced Screenshot from 2013-02-22 18:43:37 Screenshot from 2013-02-22 18:44:41 Screenshot from 2013-02-22 18:46:03

I’ve begun learning a programming language again. This time its Processing, and I’m finally getting serious about it. I just received a copy of Matt Pearson’s Genarative Art last month, but I’m working through the examples in Generative Design: Visualize, Program and Create with Processing by Hartmut Bohnacker, Benedikt Gross, Julia Laub and Claudius Lazzeroni first.

These self-portraits were the result of applying sketch P_4_3_2_01 (with text and character attributes tweaked a bit in the code) to a profile picture of mine. As the process used was typographic, and this is a self-portrait, I used my first name as the text to be repeated. The shapes of the large letters, stacked into elongated cylinders, distort the features and colors of my face into strangely evocative curves and knives. The images captured from the processing session were then enlarged and passed through many filters until they came out as they have.

I haven’t learned enough to really create my own generative art / digital poetry code, but tweaking other people’s code has always been the best way for me to figure out what’s going on in the code. I’ll keep plugging away, and coding my heart out.


Note: They look better at full size, so click on them to view them at 100%.


The image file used as input in Processing.


self-portrait-processing-gimp-4 self-portrait-processing-gimp-3 self-portrait-processing-gimp-1 self-portrait-processing-gimp-2

Read it.

It’s not a critical review, since I’m not scholar in the field. Think of it as a recommendation for others like me: aware of digital poetry from the periphery, not too studied in the digital humanities, and working slowly to become a practitioner of digital poetry and other digital arts.

A great book for anyone interested in digital poetry. It covers a wide range of works from many contemporary artists working in this ever-evolving field.

‘Insert the poetic where we’d least expect it’: An Interview with artist and poet Mary Flanagan @ Sycamore Review

Digital poet, artist, game designer, etc., responds to my questions about her entrance into + works of digital poetry, her current projects, the state of publication today, and gives some sagely advice for new digipoets. Many thanks to Sycamore Review for setting the whole thing up and for asking me to conduct it.

Here is more art created with GIMP. It seems that it doesn’t particularly matter what image I begin with; the processes tend to create similar effects, colors and objects as I go along. I’m starting to branch out from only the visual by working with images of words cut out of a PDF. “end” is my first experiment in this kind of text art, which is less similar to working on concrete poetry that I thought it would be.

Note: These images have been reduced in quality and size for ease of upload and web viewing.







Read this explanation of the Gnoetry 0.2 program and my writing process + aesthetic with it: Confessions of a Cyborg Poet: Gnoetry, eRoGK7, and Human-Computer Poetry Generation @ Sycamore Review Blog.

Writing with Gnoetry is like playing a game called “What is the best poem you can sculpt from this language?” Since I approach it as though it was a game or puzzle, it makes me feel less like the author of the poems I create through it—less an owner and more a participant—so I feel much freer to experiment and less anxious about writing about sensitive or possibly offensive subjects.

For the past week, I’ve been working in GIMP to create digital works of visual art using the repeated application of a few basic filters, color settings, etc. I usually begin with a simple pattern or some random image off of the net. Then I apply sharpness and blur filters with settings cranked until the image begins to break into colored blocks and dots. Cartoon, Edge-Detect, and Oilify filters are used as well. For this image, I also experimented with the iWarp distortion filter.

In a similar way to my writing process with the Gnoetry 0.2 program, my approach to making art with GIMP is very open and each piece is difficult to replicate. It can begin with just about anything and end up anywhere. As long as the resulting work is exciting and pleasurable, I feel like I’ve got something of value.

Here are some images from several points in this process, along with the final image, starting with the image I grabbed from the net, which can be viewed here (#7 cutest image of 2011 @ cute overload).