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

Community of Artists Show at the Danforth Museum, June-August 2015

Needlework, Shows

Thought I’d post the nice cover graphic for a new show I’ll be in this summer:

Header

Come on down to the Danforth Museum in Framingham, Massachusetts to see my needlepoint rivers being exhibited as a group! Here’s additional information on the show:

Footer

Residency Wrapup, a Little Later Than Expected

Shows

Well, it took me longer than expected to cap off the residency posts with some shots of the closing reception, but better late than never. Here are some lovely images shot during the closing by Rebecca Philio, who has shot several receptions for the Nave Gallery through the years.

Residency-Closing-05

Myself and Jesa Damora at the refreshment table as things start. The three rope river, catenary experiments, needlepoint rivers, tetrahedral shapes and some agitated catenary prints are visible here.

Nave Residency, Day 12

Graphic Geography, Random Processes, Residency, Shows

Not really a true work day, just a quick organization day to prepare for the closing reception tomorrow evening. I threw out trash, rationalized the box situation for later packing, put away cameras, pens and pencils, and collected stuff to take home tomorrow morning. Once everything was tidied up, I set out a TV and DVD player so I can show a montage of my random pixel creations, and did some quick final setups:

Final-100-Pixel-Object

The final color Random Pixel Object.

Final-Grayscale-RPO

Nave Residency Day 11

Data Representation, Residency, Scientific Exploration

Something of a disjointed day today, various errands and weather-related interruptions had me going back three separate times. However, I did get stuff done. One of which was a  shot of the Pixel Earth-Moon System with my nice Canon camera; I had tried before but the auto-focus didn’t quite figure out what to focus on, so every shot was blurry. Hitherto:

Pixel-Earth-Moon-System

This, of course, is the Earth and the Moon, to scale in pixel form, with the distance between them also to scale.

Nave Residency Day 10

Graphic Geography, Random Processes, Residency, Scientific Exploration

I finally got back to the gallery yesterday, but I was at the Bow & Arrow Press for Open Press Night afterward, so I didn’t get to process things until now. A big portion of yesterday’s work was 100 Random Pixel time-lapse videos, which I present here:

Time-Lapse 09 uses the same rules as the earlier ones, but 10 and after uses a different rule for dealing with obstructing pixels: instead of skipping over the obstructing pixels until a free space is reached, I now simply stack the new pixel on the obstructing pixel so that a three-dimensional form is created.

I also shot frames for a panorama of the two-tributary rope river from last time, and then constructed a three-tributary rope river with the last length of rope I had available:

Upper-Tributaries 3-Rope-River

I also shot a lot of portfolio images of the needlepoint rivers, as I had them on the wall for my artist’s talk last Sunday. Finally, I got out the ball chain I’d ordered just before I started the residency, and began experimenting with catenary curves.

Catenaries

This is the simple construction I made using the steel chain suspended on the hooks attached between the two lally columns in the gallery. I’m not entirely sure what’s going to happen with those, but we shall see.

After that experiment, I upended a desk and used the legs and cross supports to string the copper chain in various intersecting catenaries. I then started my camera shooting once every three seconds, and began agitating the chain. Below are some of the more interesting images, some with a touch of Photoshopping, some without. Further experimentation is definitely in the cards.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a lovely little curve from the steel suspensions that I shot on a whim:

Catenary-Intersection

Nave Residency, Day 9

Drawing, Graphic Geography, Residency, Scientific Exploration

With Labor Day and various other stuff happening, I haven’t been able to get over to the Nave until late this afternoon. Alas, I was only there for a couple hours, mostly to make more repairs to the Mississippi and to lay the other two out on a different support system. The plinth wasn’t quite the right height, and both the Nile and Yangtze started sagging in weird ways. Evidently wooden cubes and wood glue are more pliable than originally expected. Here are the rivers in their new layouts, with clamps visible on the Mississippi:

Nile-Supports Mississippi-Repair Yangtze-Supports

I also took the opportunity to hang up the latest Flow Pattern drawings, made by dripping ink over wet paper that had been set over newsprint to make interesting topographies:

Flow-Patterns-07 Flow-Patterns-06 Flow-Patterns-05 Flow-Patterns-08

The black Flow Pattern drawings are made with reclaimed inkjet ink, which contains a certain amount of every ink used in professional-grade inkjets. So I was hoping that some kind of separation would happen as the ink dried, and different colors would become visible against the composite black shade. And, indeed, there are areas of cyan and magenta bleeding through the basic black in certain areas of these drawings:

Flow-Pattern-Inkjet-Detail-02 Flow-Pattern-Inkjet-Detail-01

Finally, I pieced together another Tetra Experiments piece, this time following a pattern: I started with a basic zigzag line, then added an extension with three empty sleeves to every third segment. I then attached it to an earlier piece, the one curled around the pole with a cube held in a little cage.

Tetra-Experiments-08

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