- Science as Art 2019-20 Winners
- Science as Art 2018-19 Winners
- 2019 Grand Prize Winner - Gregory Gicewicz Jr.
- 2019 People's Choice Winner - Jesse Adler
- 2019 Best Photography - Monica Babits
- 2019 Best Drawing/Painting - Willa Hua
- 2019 Best Sculpture - Jesse Adler
- 2019 Best Time-Based Art - Alain Sullivan
- 2019 Digital Drawing/Painting - Anna Ferguson
- 2019 Best Literary - Annie Ning
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Zeinab Alrubalee
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Jenna John
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Maite Iribarren
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Dakota Lewis and Juan Marco
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Joelle Fasig McElroy
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Peggy Randon
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Allison Thabit
- 2019 Honorable Mention - Natalia Martinez
- Science as Art 2017-18 Winners
- Science as Art 2016-17 Winners
- Science as Art 2015-16 Winners
- Science as Art 2014-15 Winners
- Science as Art 2013-14 Winners
Visualizing the organic, the mathematical, and the algorithmic representation of flowers.
f.loop stands for flower loop. It’s an accordion book that explores the relationship
between nature, math, code and art by juxtaposing flowers created by the
artist’s hand and by a generative algorithm.
I firmly believe that nature, science, and art are connected. Art, often itself a response to its era, traditionally committed itself to the imitation of nature, and now feeds on both scientific discoveries and technological advances. When prompted to make an accordion florilegium, I wanted to incorporate the automation happening in the information age into this ancient medium that emphasizes the artist’s hand, which is one of the essence of the “fine arts.” My goal was to challenge art as the imitation of nature, and glorify art as the embodiment of new scientific advancements.
The book f.loop features a frontpage and four species of flowers. The frontpage offers a visual overview of the project’s mission: juxtaposing nature represented by the artist’s drawing hand and nature represented by biology, math and computing. The hand-drawn and the machine-generated mimics and complement each other, manifesting the multidiscipline fluidity in the contemporary creative process. The following four panels each feature one flower species in meticulous watercolor drawings and in computer-generated forms. The text labels the species’s common name, scientific name, family and bloom time. The semi-transparent page of generated forms, sewn to the middle, can be flipped to overlap the hand-drawn page, allowing the user to interact with the book and experience the two pages comparatively.
I wrote the underlying generative algorithm for the flower forms that accompany my watercolor drawings under the inspiration of Holger Lippmann and Diana Lange’s generative artworks. You may play with the interactive version of the algorithm here.
My overarching scientific reference was plant morphology, which informed me about how to simulate flowers in a way honest to their organic forms. I then found concepts that provided mathematical and algorithmic descriptions for flower forms: L-system, recursion and rose curves.
L-system in itself is a parallel rewriting system, while in biology, it’s used to provide a formal description of the development of multicellular organisms. One book that I found particularly useful in applying L-system to my code is The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants. Recursion is a basic algorithm in computer science, where a function being defined is applied within its own definition. In this case, recursion is the backbone for the generation of branches.
Rose curve is a sinusoid curve described in polar coordinates. The alteration of rose curve I used was r=A* cos( P/Q * theta) + B (P/Q had to be two constants because the parity of Q determines the number of petals). I experimented with the curves of various values of A, P, Q and B, and created a complex set of value combinations that renders reasonable shapes of flowers on a continuum.