Sculpting with Light – Richard “Dr” Baily

Groundbreaking computer animator Richard “Dr” Baily was a leader in particle based computer animations. He worked on movies such as Tron, Superman Returns, Blade and The Matrix, but he is probably best known for the beautiful animations for the movie Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris.

Bailey referred to what he did as “Sculpting with Light”, rather than animation, something that really resonated with me.

Bailey produced over 60,000 frames of atmospheric planet animation using his own particle system – called SPORE – developed in C++. You can see a few of the planet animations here in the trailer:

Of SPORE Bailey, commented: “[It’s] a system that’s sort of a continuum between order and chaos. Some images reside firmly in the world of order, with the particles animated in a fairly straightforward way. Other images that look really twitchy and electric reside in the world of chaos.

Ultimately, the goal was to build a living system that will breed and evolve designs and animations that I would never have dreamed of, and could not produce by any other means.”

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Bailey died in 2006. See more of his work at http://www.imagesavant.com

Virtual Bowery


Dan Torop rebuilds the Bowery circa 1997 as a flock of digital swans.


Soundtrack for a Book



Singapore based Concave Scream’s instrumental album. Nice packaging too.

Ryota Kuwakubo at Coded Cultures


Now on at the second edition of CODED CULTURES – a selection of work by Ryota Kuwakoba (aka vector scan). Coded Cultures is a binational festival  between Austria and Japan and aims to explore new artistic practices within digital media related arts. The festival is part of the official Austria – Japan Year 2009.



1-Bit Music


Tristan Perich’s 1-Bit Music (2004-2005) is an electronic circuit is assembled inside a CD case with a headphone jack on the side. The device plays back 40 minutes of low-fi 1-bit electronic music—the lowest possible digital representation of audio.


Goodwords – Part 1

I’ve pretty much given up on watching the news or reading newspapers. Yea, yea, we all know that the news is slanted to the bad shit that is going on.

But I’ve been wondering if I do consume mass media, who should I turn to for a more positive slant.

Enter the goodwords project. The idea is simple, I have a list of positive words, I scrape various news sources and see who’s the happy chappies and who are the grumpies.

I’ve been dabbling with this idea on and off for quite a while. And now finally have a bit of data to start fiddling with. I initially was tracking a number of international sources, but lost the data (long boring story). And since I’ve been summering in South Africa and people are so news conscious here, I decided to start here. I’m actually scraping a few times a day, but these initial results are based on midnight editions.

The results are based on a percentage of good words vs the number of total words on the page. And yea, I know words in context can mean different things, but then this was never meant to be scientific. (And I was tracking other papers – such as the Indepent Newspaper Groups Papers – but they changed something on their site and my scrapes have stopped working).

Enough you say, let’s see the results.


Firstly, note the results are measured in percentage of goodwords on a page and reflect only two months of tracking so far.

Well seems, if I did want to read the news, I should stick to the Times and avoid the business newspapers – especially the Financial Mail (kinda expected). However, the financial Mail also has the least words on the page. Google News South Africa has the most (and has Google News recently become a happierplace?). The Mail and Guardian, which used to be the paper I respected the most, has kinda become a bit of a naysayer these days – and the results seem to reflect that.

Here are the top words from all the tracked papers, which probably proves I need to adjust my word list.


I’ve started tracking a number of international newspapers, but it’s too early to have interesting results.

Technical notes:
I am using PHP to pull the data via a cron job into a SQL database, and using Processing to draw the graphs. I am using the SQLibrary by Florian Jenett to pull the database stuff into processing. The code is not so exciting, and kind of messy, but I will keep releasing it anyway. I am generating the source_id's manually simply because I haven't got round to implementing that yet.

Radarboy Reaktiv at Apple Store Tokyo


Presentation of experimental motion and sound reactive work at the Apple Store in Ginza ,Tokyo.