|Posted by David - January 4, 2007 - 22:44|
The Universal Question:
"So what's it gonna look like?"
...Or more sophisticated variations of the above seem to have been asked every time that I've had the pleasure of presenting our project. I suppose it is only natural with all the talk of agents and ecosystems and things flying around, sticking to one another, interacting, and building complexity, but ... to me, at least, what is so amazing (and what sustains me through the periods of "dry" development) is the concept. That is, the theoretical model that novel and intricate structures and systems can construct themselves from very simple forms. No matter what the aesthetic of the rendering is, just the idea of this process is fascinating to me.
Anyway, our simplest answer to the question is: "We don't know."
While we choked on that (though I exaggerate) Alan was helpful enough to point out that what we have shown is very much in-progress (and really, more fresh a realization than anyone probably knew), so he asked instead for us to talk about our -process- of building an aesthetic. The comparison was made to painting -- a painting is not just a transferance of image from the mind to the canvas, it's often a series of experiments as well as, well, playing with the paint.
Just so we find aesthetic forms by playing with the parameters and functions of the simulation and with OpenGL! Sure, I can (speak for myself and) say that I have vague images in my head, but I accept that the final product will have to simply be inspired by those but be realized by the process of the making of the system. Along similar lines I've accepted that I can never draw from the images in my head, what I make is always something quite different, but perhaps equally (or more?) valuable.
And that's my answer to the question.
(And I must apologize to Andrew for posting so much; I'm not trying to make him look bad. On the contrary, I'm trying to make myself feel good as I consider the amazing amount of coding he has pushed himself to do. So there!)