circular jets


Hat tip Sucrete for the found science GIF chopped up by yrs truly to make the above puffy mandala. These amoebas or smoke rings assume laboratory conditions of idealized gravitational and atmospheric stability, making this GIF fall somewhere among art, science and sublime thought experiment.

piet de resistance


More on the conventional wisdom especially rife among computer programmers that anyone can make a Mondrian. Hat tip Jeffrey Henderson for a link to Piet, an abstract art generating language from an Australian programmer, David Morgan-Mar.
Making a web-friendly "Mondrian," in my opinion, is one of the dumber, more cliched things you could ever want to do, but Morgan-Mar's example page of various geeks' efforts isn't all "Mondrians" -- there is some nice pixel art-y stuff (see example above). Using machines to make art isn't inherently bad but the process should perhaps develop its own way, not as recreations of beginner textbook Modernism.

see also

Update: Jules Laplace emails: "Slight correction.. Piet is not really an 'abstract art generating language' so much as an esoteric, 2-dimensional programming language where color encodes signal flow. It no more generates abstract art than Befunge, a similar language, generates ASCII art -- although the author states his intent to produce an interpretable language which is also decorative."

My reply: I was paraphrasing the Piet author's sentence - "Piet is a programming language in which programs look like abstract paintings." The word "generate" is perhaps inappropriate if the code is itself the image. (But something gave birth to the image, right?) My rant was aimed more at the results of the code, or coding. A scientist I know hates it when artists use the word "experiment" and I hate it equally when someone accidentally stumbles on a pleasing pattern and says "hey! I'm kind of a good abstract artist!"