Our first task was to create an analog graphical algorithm on our own, write it down, and then pass it around in the class to see how people will respond to it. Repetitive patterns and their creation were always an interest of mine, so instead of using a very strict description, I was curious about how a classroom of creative people will respond to an interpretative algorithm.
Outline the very first Object that you see in your surrounding [your phone, the pencil, etc.] Repeat until the sheet is full
Some of the first results were exactly what I was thinking of: one form of a certain type, repeated multiple times on a piece of paper until it was fully decorated. Some of them were literally a thin black outline of different larger objects, like a chair, or a pencil case, drawn next to each other to tell a story - almost like a comic.
But since my goal was to create patterns I dismissed that way of solving the algorithm by correcting and editing the text. I liked that the patterns could tell something about a person by showing me some part of the world they are surrounded by, as if seen in a distorted mirror. That was a starting point for a line of inspirations which determined the visual execution of the project.
One of the motifs that swirled around in my head was a distant memory of a children's fairy tale that begins with evil spirits dropping and shattering a mirror through which they see the people's sins on the earth.
2nd and 3rd generations:
The image of a shattered mirror stuck with me: I took a piece of dark grey cardboard and cut it into asymmetrical polyhedrons, that were intended as the surface to draw on. To fullfil the certain visual of a dark mirror with the light playing on it, I chose white chalk for the participant to draw the lines with.
I took my puzzle kit and went out in public places, asking friends and strangers to choose the piece they like the most, read the algorithm and solve it, like they thought they should.
Some of the results were more aesthetically interesting, some less, but in the end I had a randomly completed puzzle.
In the 3rd version of the analog algorithm a white pencil was used instead of the chalk, and the pieces were made smaller. Both of the correction were made to speed up the process and make it possible for more people to participate in it.
The next step was to create a similar algorithm in P5.js
P5.js was a hard pill to swallow. I still can't write it fluently. It is an amazing tool, and even though the experience proved to be mostly confidence-shattering, I was excited to work with it.
Since my entire idea was based on some sort of pattern my participants are surrounded by, it was not an easy concept to translate.
Each pattern is obviously individual and there was no way with my very humble knowledge of replicating that in the digital world. I simplified the algorithm. In the digital version Lines of different thickness react to the movement of the mouse.
I kept the color palette, and used lines because they were the most used graphical elements in puzzle pieces, and to have a visual connection with the analog piece.
I wanted the digital surrounding to react and to interact with the mouse, mirroring the online behaviour of the user. Not exactly following up on it directly, but instead echoing the movements, both angled and errant.
Since you don't see the mouse in the picture, all you see is a crooked double of the actual movements. You see a bad reflection- that is returning to the roots of the motion.
It could be used for decorating big spaces (like assembly hall or art galleries) making them seem more alive, as if the space reacts to the person who enters. It can seem happy to see him, jumping around on the walls, or just following his very step, like a digital shadow, and the uniqueness of our very movements will be parroted in the decoration of the room.
In public places (like a railway station) the lines could show the traveller the ways to the doors. It follows the different doors of the arriving train and stops and calms down when the train stops moving and the doors open. As soon as the door closes the lines disappear.
This is probably not the most efficient way of showing the way to the doors, since the seemed disarray can create confusion and bedlam, especially in a morning rush hour.
But I can visualize the image of lines following the doors, coming alive in a hurry and tangle, sort of like the travellers themselves.
When they are pushing each other at the entrance and calming down only when the doors close. Maybe if the disorder was visually on display, the actual clutter would be less?