Some Notes on the Works in the BASIC SYSTEMS Series:
I. The Concept:
After a period of producing static
images using a plotter coupled
to a PDP-15 computer, the Amiga offered the opportunity to develop
real-time moving images.
The earlier work had been concerned
with translation and the
ontological implications of language and so the idea of taking the
basic graphic commands of Amiga Basic as primitive concepts to
explore the new universe of moving images seemed completely logical.
The commands define worlds: A world
of dots, a world of lines,
a world of arcs and circles and so on....
The first task is to explore these
silent worlds in terms of aesthetic
categories such as chaos/order, rough/smooth, expectation/surprise etc..
Initially (in the BASIC SYSTEMS
series) random data are used to
control simple image generating processes.
The images are therefore experiments
with structured randomness where
the graphic primitives provide the basis for the structuring. The
use of random data implies that the source of the data is not important
and opens the possibility for later experiments with data generating
processes. Perhaps the images can be analyzed, and become themselves
a source of data.
Eventually it may be possible to
define primitive procedures and to
integrate them in a basic system capable of bootstrapping itself to
further complexity through dialogues between the worlds. Even if this
fails, the process should be capable of bootstrapping the artist.
In the meantime (hopefully) anything
may be possible...
II. The Works:
Randomly generated points are connected
to form a random walk. The
textures of the connecting lines are generated by a mathematical
function based on the x,y position within the connecting line and
the thickness of the line.
Random variation in the begin and
end angles of a circle segment
generate abstract forms.
The "paint" function of AmigaBasic
is used to randomly fill either
the inside or the outside of a circle segment with colour.
A set of linked mathematical functions
based on a number of flies
chasing after each other generate a set of moving points which are
connected by textured lines.
A hidden grid is made partly visible
by randomly generated connecting
lines and textured Bezier Curves arc around the chosen points.
The history of a one dimensional
cell automat is shown mirrored in
two-dimensions. The transformation rule is modified every cycle.
Is essentially a cell automat except
for the fact that there is no
internal memory and the automat processes directly the video image.
The situation is also made slightly more complicated by representing
the processed information by rotated line segments.
The same cell automat is again
used for image processing. This time
the read and write scans have become independent, sometimes even
horizontally reading and diagonally writing -so the space becomes
folded. Arbitrary variations in the processing rule generate the
variations required to process the image.
Amsterdam, March 1998