Loom (more)

My mode of practice…

So I determine the set of parameters relevant to the work of subdividing a spline polygon. A new center, for instance, can be calculated at the actual center of the current polygon or the center can be randomised. If randomised, then the value can be constrained within a specific numerical range. Similarly, the control points on a new spline curve can be positioned anywhere along the line between the two anchor points, or even beyond those anchor points, and their rotation can either be manually determined or randomised. These and many other variables provide the basis for specific Boolean and numerical parameters that constitute the combinatory space from which any particular image emerges. Due to the complex interaction between the various values, I can never fully anticipate how the image will look. Each rendered image suggests the potential for further tweaking of the parameters or for more radical alteration (a new subdivision stack). I follow a trajectory of weirdly mechanical curiosity. I make some changes and run the program. Numbers rush by in the console as the various subdivisions occur. Once the calculations are done, the drawing panel appears. I wait a bit longer until the image is actually drawn to the panel, hit ‘s’ for save, and wait again until the image is properly saved (takes a while to write the complex data set to the file). The whole process can take a couple of minutes depending upon the number of subdivisions. And then, as I say, new possibilities suggest themselves. Several hours later, after repeatedly promising myself that this will be the last image, I resist the temptation to follow new combinatory trails and stop. Sometimes I think that I would do better to follow a less peripatetic process and be much more assiduous in keeping notes, but I also know that there will never be a need to return to these permutations – I exhaust them as I play them out. I work for a time on incorporating additional algorithmic features and then play with the algorithms until they drift into repetition. Once the software is finished then I tend to stop playing with it altogether. It never amounts to anything that is simply ‘creatively useful’.

Loom images

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