Wednesday, October 1, 2008


An object or a system is called chiral if it differs from its mirror image, that is it cannot be superimposed on its mirror image.

The Small Programs are digital drawings that I program instead of using traditional artist's media. They grew out of my Plane Symmetry Groups project. These drawings relate to plane symmetry or wallpaper groups, but they differ in ways that disqualify them from, while extending the mathematical form. The primitive cell in each of these patterns is generated by a small program. Like plane symmetry groups, I can transform, rotate, or reflect the cell. However, the drawings differ from the mathematical form in that I generate the unit pattern programmatically. I have replaced the static cell with a small program which may randomly vary the resulting unit pattern. The patterns are isosceles trapezoids arranged radially in tracks around a center point. The patterns grow in width as the tracks radiate out.

I explore small programs in somewhat the same way I would use traditional media. I have a general idea of the result I am attempting to achieve before I start coding. I work through various challenges during the process. I selectively discard or keep elements as I approach the final rendering.

The programs are Flash ActionScript. I often use random selection within the program, so the result varies each time an image is rendered.

Here are two new closely related prints in the Small Programs series.

"Prebiotic Earth"

"Mass Ascension"

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