PostArt Poets Logo ETG Poem

Internet Art, Linguistic Deconstruction

Here’s a new posting of an Encoded Twitter Graphic, the protocol of which you may peruse here. This particular graphic is a tiled ETG, which is mentioned here. The tweets are as follows:





And encode the logo of the PostArt Poets in the CGA color space. These four tweets may be considered a poem, in four stanzas, celebrating digital art in all its glory.

Actual size:


Detail view (10x):

When I Say “City” Twitter Volley

Internet Art, Linguistic Deconstruction

On Thursday, 5 April, Neil Freeman at started posting tweets starting with the phrase When I say “city”… and then continuing with some aphorism, trope, concept, observation, stereotype or definition of the urban landscape. Several people, including myself, joined in the fun. Here are my contributions, taken directly from my Twitter account as a screenshot:


Fortunately for all involved, Neil collated his own entries here. There are also some fun compilations at Storify, here and here.

Here are my entries in text form:

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean Chicago at 5am seen flying in over Lake Michigan.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean a closed-system O’Neill settlement five miles long orbiting at the fourth lunar Lagrange point.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean “Trantor”.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr when I say “city”, it’s because I had to go fire up my old Maxis game and hit the “Tornado” button.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean the human equivalent of a climax forest.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean photogenic young people in large apartments maintained with no visible means of support.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean a place of hedonism, debauchery, and women refusing their proper roles in society.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I really mean “anti-Arcadia”.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I’m saying they’ll never stay on the farm after they’ve seen it.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say, “city”, I am referring to the abode of the Holy God King, long may be his days and great his victories.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I mean men in expensively-tailored suits steepling their fingers over plans to increase their power.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I indicate that savings in transportation costs dictate increased density.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city”, I’m referring to a place where the benefits of collaboration outweigh the desire for autonomy.

Ted Ollier ‏@mindhue 5 Apr
@fitnr When I say “city” I’m talking about a location with anomalously high temperature profile compared to its surroundings.

Another Way to Get More ETG Pixels

Data Representation, Internet Art

Continuing on the idea of stuffing the Twitter pipeline with pixels, maybe I should just not worry so much about compression and figure out a way to divide images up and let the coding enable people to reconstitute them. Thus, I have prepared a tiled Twitter graphic, expanding from a simple 9 x 12 pixel CGA graphic to a 27 x 36 pixel graphic in 9 tiles.

For this end, though, I’ll need to modify the header definitions. Consider this ETG V0.2, with a small tweak on how to deal with images that are supposed to be displayed together.

The ATG frames code includes a 4-letter ID squib and 2 hex digits for animation frame numbering. I reserved the first block of 128 for a non-looping animation set, which is actually kinda silly because most Web animations are looped anyway. So let’s use that block to indicate the location of each tile in the set. This gives us a latitude of 7 tiles across and 15 tiles down, or tile coordinates 7E.

If you have a tileset of 7 tiles by 10 tiles, then the tiling number 45 means “fourth tile from the left, fifth tile down”. The tiling number 12 means “first tile from the left, second down”. And, using hex, number 7A means “seventh tile from left, ten down”, or the last tile in this set.

For this image, I tiled an image into a 3×3 grid, or 9 tiles. For our first tile, the header will look like this:

`CGA which gives the color space

`09×12 which gives the size of the tile

`FedW11 which gives the ID squib and the origin tile (first from left, first down)

and `{ which locates the data payload.

The tiles can be tweeted in any order, because they share their unique ID squib and their ordering is contained within their headers. However, I prepared these in left-right/top-down order, so I’ll paste them here that way:










Here are those pieces:

Here they are assembled:

And here they are enlarged for more clarity:

Further CGA ETG Compression

Data Representation, Internet Art

I’ve been trying to find a way to compress images even more, so I could expand the size of the color tweets available. Basically, since Twitter uses only the usable characters of ASCII text, and it can be hard to type higher-bit ASCII on some keyboards, I’ve pretty much exhausted the palette of encoding options with my 6-bit “0-9 A-Z a-v” encoding scheme. So… instead of encoding, maybe I could address patterns in the data itself.

One of the easiest things to see in the data are strings of repeating elements. If I could further encode those strings I could save room and not have long lines of 000000 or 33333 for fields of color in the image. Let’s say I simply put the number of pixels in front of the code for the pixel color, and the TwGD will decipher what was meant. So, a string of eight white CGA pixels, FFFFFFFF, would be represented as 8F.

The only problem with this is that the character 8 already encodes for dark grey. Putting numbers in the stream will collide with the numbers already there. So I’ll need to convert the hex numbers into a new coding scheme, so the pixel quantities don’t mess with the pixel codes. Say, pixel 0 (black) equals a, pixel 1 (dark blue) equals b, and so on. In this scheme, the string of white, FFFFFFFF, would become 8p. That’s a savings of 6 characters!

Of course, you won’t get that kind of savings everywhere. Especially 2-pixel doubles, since you’re just replacing 2 identical pixel codes with a “2” and the new code. There’s still some squishing to be had here. For this special case, I came up with a second series of codes, using punctuation to stand for pixel doubles. Here’s the full set of codes for this scheme, which I’m calling Similar String CGA encoding (“CGS”)

0 = a   00 = !
1 = b   11 = "
2 = c   22 = $
3 = d   33 = %
4 = e   44 = &
5 = f   55 = '
6 = g   66 = (
7 = h   77 = )
8 = i   88 = *
9 = j   99 = +
A = k   AA = ,
B = l   BB = -
C = m   CC = .
D = n   DD = /
E = o   EE = :
F = p   FF = ;

So, using this additional compression scheme, I was able to encode a 12 x 17 pixel CGA image with plenty of room to spare. It doesn’t sound like too much extra, but that’s 150% the area of the 10 x 13 CGA pixel image I tweeted back in December, and includes the ETG header information, too.

Here’s the image, a color version of the self-portrait from yesterday:

And the resulting tweet, using “CGS” as the code for this new compression scheme:


A New ETG (Encoded Twitter Graphic) Self-Portrait

Data Representation, Internet Art

I dusted off the old ETC encoding protocol today for a project I’m doing for a show entry, creating a self-portrait to send through social media. I used the 6-bit compression scheme I used for old Teddy Roosevelt’s 2-bit gray image for an image of myself. Because I did a couple tweaks on the protocol between encoding Roosevelt and nailing down the format, I had to sacrifice a line of pixels for this image. It’s 15×25 pixels, not 15×26, but that’s not too bad. The tweet:


And the encoded image:

ATG for the New Year

Data Representation, Internet Art

It’s 2012! To celebrate, I’m posting this Animated Twitter Graphic (ATG):

















In animated GIF format, it looks like this: