Noodling with the Taijitu

Averages, Data Representation

On a lark I did some animation silliness today. The typical explanation for the taijitu, or the yin-yang symbol ( ☯ ), mentions how dark and light are intertwined, one leads to the other in a symbiotic wax-and-wane cycle, and one contains the seed of the other inside. Well, said I, I wonder what this wax-and-wane cycle would look like if the taijitu was rotating and you took the average grayscale value of the portion of the symbol passing at the zenith part. Who wouldn’t wonder that?

To make that more obvious, I’ve prepared this anigif, which contains three parts: a rotating taijitu, a cropping of the topmost sliver of the symbol from the centerpoint up (indicated by the red box in the first part), and the average grayscale value of that sliver:

Taijitu Joint000

So, basically, as the Wheel of Earth and Heaven rolls ponderously around, there are alternating times of lightness, darkness and shades in-between. I will leave you with a stand-alone gif of this interplay for your own amusement (caution: may not be synced with the above animation):

Taijitu Fill000

Nave Residency, Day 8

Data Representation, Graphic Geography, Random Processes, Residency, Scientific Exploration

Today started off, oddly enough, as something of a clean-up day. I moved the trash bags I’m using as floor protectors for the wet projects, I shifted a bunch of the loose cubes over to where the river production area was, I cleaned up the pixel dice construction site, and collected boxes in one area and trash in another. I have some of the flow-pattern ink drawings in process, but I didn’t get around to photographing them. Next time!

For a consolation prize, here are the rivers, mostly complete. The clamp on the Mississippi is joining the Ohio/Upper Mississippi/Missouri complex to the Lower Mississippi/Red/Canadian/Arkansas complex. The clamp on the Yangtze is to hold together a faulty glue joint, which broke at around the Wuhan area.

Three-Pixel-Rivers

I also put the Random Pixel Objects on display on a plinth, just to get them out of the way:

Random-Pixel-Obects-Display

Nave Residency, Day 7

Random Processes, Residency, Scientific Exploration

Interesting stuff today. I was hoping to have images of all three pixel rivers done, but the Mississippi is being difficult and I needed to re-glue several tributaries, this time using clamps. I should have been using clamps the entire time!

But anyway, other stuff still got done. I finished all nine of the Random Pixel Objects, which are all available for sale to interested parties! Here they are in a group shot:

9-Random-Pixel-Objects

Nave Residency, Day 4

Graphic Geography, Random Processes, Residency

There were some technical snafus, like the batteries for the camera I use for the random pixel grids conking out, so today I don’t have many images. However, I did finish painting the new sets of pixel dice, and sanded the edges of one set of 12:
Bunches-Of-Dice
Dozen-New-Dice

Vexilla: Serial Monoprints with Flag Imagery

Metashapes, Printmaking

I managed to do some organizing today, and while doing so finally signed and photographed some serial monoprint pieces I did at the Vermont Studio Center last March. These are called “Vexilla” (singular “Vexillum”), and are groups of twelve prints, starting in the upper right hand corner and going left to right to the bottom right corner. Monoprints are single-copy prints, but when you pull one print some of the ink remains on the plate, which then can be incorporated in the next print, as a “ghost”. In this way I built up several values of gray as the prints progressed, with more and more layers of ghosts adding to the image. Each new print has just two or three new elements added, usually a strip, circle or star. I’ve always been interested in heraldry, and this is a fun way to play around with the vocabulary. In fact, this started out as a lark one day, and I was surprised by the critical acclaim.

(Sorry about the differing margins around each member for these composites; I wanted to get them posted before I went to the Bow and Arrow.)

Vexillum 01

Vexillum 02

Vexillum 03

Vexillum 04

Vexillum 05

Vexillum 06

Random Tangents, Three Circles

Metashapes, Random Processes

…perhaps demonstrative of my thinking processes or something. Anyway, for these images I used a series of nine numbers culled from random.org to set the diameter and x-y coordinates of three circles in Illustrator. I then drew the segments and rays emanating from the circle centers and various tangential points on their circumferences. I then did a simple transparency fill to create a series of overlapping gray areas. Thus, this result:

I will probably attempt to produce actual graphite drawings on paper using these starting principles, combining process and hand at the same time.