Pixels, Screens, Surfaces

Pixels, Screens, Surfaces

Exploring computation and materiality

Creating a catalog of “virtual material swatches… uncovering subtle qualities of dynamic form, texture, pattern.”


Our first project for Ben Hooker’s Computation and Materiality class involved “getting up close to the screen to build appreciation for the different kinds of virtual materials which constitute electronic images we frequently encounter but perhaps overlook.” Essentially, we are exploring how we might design on the computer in a more “painterly way”.

Concept Development

These material studies were the initial stages that lead to my Dendrochaoticism project. Following these initial material studies, we were asked for the final part of the project to:

Invent a compelling new hybrid something which is the result of an engineered interplay between a computational system and a dynamic material structure—biological or otherwise.

My initial ideas for the concept developed from seeing the emergent forms and movements in the clickers exploration above. It reminded me of wind blowing over and moving through surfaces and objects. I began exploring how wind and breath have been attributed with more metaphysical ideas in religion, culture and science: wind moving through the trees interpreted by more primitive cultures as spirits; weather patterns which embody complex mathematical principles.

I began designing a device that uses a dynamic texture to interpret this information carried in the wind.

Final Stage

This project was developed further when we were asked to design a new hybrid form.

View Dendrochaoticism, the final stage of this project →