Philadelphia FringeArts, aka Philadelphia Fringe Fest

Philadelphia FringeArts started on Sep 5 and will run  through the 22nd. It's big. Shows I saw:

and a couple of other previews held at The Trestle Inn.

My first Processing program: algorithmically-generated plant

I have been meaning to try out Processing (a.k.a. Proce55ing) for ages, now.  Processing is a Java-like language which includes a simple development environment which makes generating graphics, animation, and sound simple. You can see some impressive examples at the Processing site's exhibition page.

I played with Processing for the past week or so, and my first non-trivial "sketch" is a modification of the Penrose Tile example written by Geraldine Sarmiento included with Processing. It is an algorithmically-generated plantlike form. The iterative method used is called an L-System, introduced by the botanist Aristid Lindenmayer (hence the "L"). 

Back in the 80s, when fractals, cellular automata, and other iterative and recursive things were the rage, this beautiful book (which I have a copy of) was produced: The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants, by Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz and Aristid Lindenmayer.  It is out of print, but you can download a full high-resolution copy at that link, which also lists correction.

Click here for my sketch.

New Photography 2009 at MoMA

Just returned from a visit to NYC and Boston. While in NYC, I went to see the New Photography exhibit at MoMA. It featured six photographers: Walead Beshty, Daniel Gordon, Leslie Hewitt, Carter Mull, Sterling Ruby, and Sara VanDerBeek. They all work very differently, though a couple had similar methods. The unifying feature, though, is that the photographic process is used as a medium itself, and sometimes recursively (photographs of photographs).

Walead Beshty is the most “painterly”: he takes a very large sheet of photographic paper, and exposes parts of it to various colored light, masking out areas by using the sheet itself.

Leslie Hewitt’s work departs the least from traditional photography, and I found it very evocative. He photographs other photographs which are placed within a setting of common objects, sometimes with some personal significance.

Anyway, will write more about my trip soon.