Jellyfish Updated

I updated the Jellyfish piece — changed the dimensions to make it wider than taller, and added some cool random blurry background circles in shades of blue and green.

Also, I should probably explain what the hell this actually is: it’s a Flash app that uses Actionscript to algorithmically generate the “jellyfish”. There are separate functions (heavy on the trig) that create the “bell” and the small circles that build it, the triangular “fringe” and the long tentacles, which are Bezier curves with crosses attached to their control points. Then other functions randomly place the “specks” and crosses (which I just added to look cool) and the big background circles, which are randomly colored and blurred. Finally, a “glow” effect is added to the jellyfish, giving it that otherworldly underwater look.

This was incredibly complicated to write — I hadn’t done anything in Flash of this magnitude before, and it took a lot of re-acquainting myself with Actionscript and newly acquainting myself with Flash’s drawing functions, which I’ve barely ever used before.

I’m pretty proud of it. And I’ll be showing it and selling prints of it and other generative pieces at First Friday! More details to come.

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  1. Color me ignant on this one. I can’t wrap my head around why, or how, programming a computer to self-generate patterns qualifies as art.

    Is there a clear, unbroken nexus between the “artist” and the final product, or is that connection severed by a silicon chip and a string of arbitrary, binary code? Help me out here.

  2. Joe, can you see that every piece that is generated is a variation on a theme? Josh obviously created the theme and set the limits within which variations are permitted, so I’d say this qualifies as art.

    Nevertheless, it’s a good question. Photographers had to answer similar ones when photography was new.

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