Idea for Mid-term, Bin Ni

Though this would just be a presentation of ideas, so didn’t write the documentation.

So my proposal for the dynamic logo for the mid-term is for the STEM departments that I’ve practically devoted more than half of my time here. There would be (ideally) two dimensions of variations, one being the department, aka. different departments having different variations (colour palettes, shapes, etc.) and the other being the occasion, aka. for different use, say for room plates, name cards, interior decoration and publications.

As for the design itself, I am thinking about an adaptation of Klein’s bottle in some form. Not settled yet but barring accidents, it should be something similar. Several atoms drawing to each other (tri-body problem for say). Two suns orbiting each other (the one LIGO-Virgo and various others have just observed).

Generative Type Face Tryout, Kevin Bin Ni

Follow this link to see the sketch.

So just like what has been planned in the last documentation. Curves twitching and strecthing, shifting colours and cuddling with each other. Nothing fancy really. Nothing generative either. Turbulence is added to the three attributes of each letter, as in how long the curves strech, how twisted they are and to what angle they rotate (and in their colour as well).

And how cocky and confident the result is.

Reflection on Feed Forward

I have this little browser plugin of my own creation. It filters out content I don’t like. It substitutes terms I don’t care for with the ones I feel comfortable with. Most importantly, it continues to learns my taste each time I click the small, barely noticeable button that says I don’t like this. Behind the curtain, it operates on several ordinary machine learning techniques that would, with every ounce of effort, extract features from the preference I’ve explicitly supplied. The result is most satisfying. No more pusky nonsence or eye-rolling schnanigans. No more horrible Mandarin loan words slapping me right at my face. If peace has ever existed, I am with it now.

This plugin, as Hansen describes, has directly altered the sensory experience I gain from online matter (and their causal efficacies), and therefore influced my moves and decisions. Even though my consciousness is aware of such intervention of the evident kinds, it may and is more than likely remain ignorant of some more subtle and nuanced effects. My consciousness may realise that it feeling glad is a result of absence of disagreeable content, whilst having no knowledge of it dispising a certain product being a consequence of failed replacement of abhorring Mandarin words. I have no access whatsoever to the process inside the plugin even though I designed it. The flow of sensory data creeking under the table is simply non-existent to me, yet it has affected almost every aspect of my online, even offline moves and decisions.

This could be even more unsettling in the case of some widely installed systems that operates on the same principle. Most social media and news agencies have recommendation systems that learn users’ taste and decide what to show them. Similar systems utilise the data, sensory and experiential, from these twenty-first-media, study, manipulate and exploit them so that they could control the final moves and decisions entailed by those data. Consciousness doesn’t even stand a chance now that the mere existence of such intervention (or more precisely dictation) is lost to it, let alone the process and the data they operate upon: the browsing history, the time lingered on one page and how these lingerings are distributed, everything that is recordable piling up so high. These are all inaccessible to us either in scale or in sensory capacities. They are not only the loyal scriber of our past and current conscious experience, but also, in ambitious hands, fed into and shape our future conscious experience. They have opened a window to the future, predicatable and forseeable future founded on the solid, copious sensibility captured as machine-processible data, collected, catagorised and studied.

Facebook’s advertising system

Another thing that pops into my mind whilst thinking about such systems are the famous brain in a vat thought experiment. To some extent it is the ultimate form of such system, where everything outside the carrier of consciousness itself are opaque to it. The brain still feels, experiences and interprets the decisions and moves afterhand, only that none of the sensibility are real. But then what would matter if the efficacies and the data are real? After all they are just media through which sensibilities evoke sensory experience and ultimately moves and decisions that consciousness is aware of. Twenty-first-century or twenty-second-century, print or electronic, no longer matters.

An idea for “generative” typefaces

I am late again. Probably time to set up an alarm or something to remind me that there’s usually a documentation to write for Wednesday.

So the basic idea is that the letters are consisted of curves (preferably cubic bezier) with three basic properties, as shown in the photo above, the rotation, the scale and the deviation of the control point. For example, letter “C” can be described as a shape generated by a series of curves whose length first drops and then grows, within the range of [0, PI/2], and the control points go from negative to the anchor points to positive.

I have also considered some other variation of this. One among many is this. Symmetric, random silver linings are drawn between two given points. The result is breathetakingly airy yet still beautiful. The problem, or the reason I thought this may not count as “generative” is that despite that the connection between points are generated, the path, the vertices of the letters are still manually given, unlesss one could find a function that describes that path and could have parameters for alteration – but then how different is it from the random distortion of the exterior of some typeface?

NOC Week 4 Proposal/Inspiration for the midterm/final/future projects Bin Ni

The Three Body Problem is defined as evaluating the trajectory of three objects with positive mass in a given (constrained) space. It is put separately as a special problem instead of a general simulation problem is starting from three objects, the trajectory is no longer “predictable” because even an infinitesimal deviation in the initial settings of the objects would end up causing dramatic differences in their movements and thus create a completely different trajectory pattern.

This problem is so charming and alluring given that it generates figures unlike that are truly random and unknown to the creator or to the system prior to launching. In some ways it reflects the sole and fundamental truth of the universe that apart form the physical laws there exists nothing. It is pure order, and yet from it millions of billions of gazillions of wonders arise.

With more objects, three body problem is essentially the particle simulation problem. Among the moment difference in scale from a binary star system to the vortexes in a water tank and the diffusion of fume in an open air, the same, single principles apply. The eternal gravity.

As mentioned above, the three body problem is essentially the particle simulation problem with limited number of objects. Hence any algorithm that could speed up and improve the simulation of this process would apply to the evaluation of the trajectories. Given the limited computational resources I could have access to, the project would most probably be working with at most a hundred objects and observe their movement and see what interesting stuff I could add into them. Sound determined by the speed and direction and perhaps the relative position of objects could make an automatic composer of the sound of the aether. Projected on the walls and the ceilings in a dark room with reaction upon touch and body movement would most certainly promote the interactivity.

What I’m Planning to Do
The Sound of the Universe“. Projecting the movement of a multiple star system in a dark room with sound generated from the movement playing simultaneously. Observers may be considered an object in the system also and have impact over others as they move.

External Examples

Something that used a grid system and/or ratios

So this is a poster of Caron’s Nuit de Noël. One can easily identify that the presence of ratio here from the repetitive use of the same image of an increasing size on the diagonal. It is, however, not possible to trace down to the original designer of the poster and ask what he had intended. One can only infer, that from the sense of enlargement, the sense of something approaching straight on to one’s face, crude and unequivocal, that this is something prominent and substantial.

A poster for “The Martian”

Click to see the code.

The basic idea is rather simple, that to create a sense of rocket launching from Mars and the dust and ashes disturbed by the wind it creates. This is done through the zigzag positioning of three columns of eclipses which, accompanied by the shift in size and colours, simulated a figure that may evoke the intended feeling of rocket stand, aviation, airing, broad rocky land, etc,. The flying speed of the rocket is picked randomly with each launch and thus causes various effects, either sharp and escaping or enormous and distorted.

Making wet and sharp

Yohoo not late this time!

So here is the link to the wet and the link to the sharp.

The basic idea about sharp is that it should and has always related to triangular shapes. In this case, a circle that has rough – so rough that the curves are essentially forming sharp edges – surface is zoomed in and made visible the small details going on down there.

The idea about wet, on the other hand, comes from the reflection people have when something dew-shaped hanging from a surface up high that it’s gonna fall and make things wet. Curves are used to create the dew and the sine family for the bouncing ceiling. Also the dark colour may gave a hint of the drops being not water but something thicker.

I have to admit that these two are somehow a bit far from what I’ve mentioned in the past posts (as in Guerlain’s Vega poster and many other dystopian work from that age) as there’s almost no sense of this absolute order and the suggestion of dehumanisation underneath it. An attempt for some more down-to-earth styles?