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Archive for the ‘Artworks’ Category

From One Con to Another and Apollo Art

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage Art
Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage Art

I spent last weekend at the Capricon Science Fiction Convention. This coming weekend it will be the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference. These are two very different sorts of ‘cons’ attracting very different audiences. Their common factor is that they both target my areas of interest.

For Capricon, in addition to attending panels on AI (artificial intelligence) and literary economics, I participated in three of the convention’s panels. First up was Publishing and Marketing for Indie Authors where I and authors Jonathan Brazee, Blake Hausladen, and publicist Beverly Bambury discussed techniques and methods by which authors could promote themselves and their book. In one sense I was the odd-man-out on this panel. Whereas I am working on getting my first book published – my Earth as Art book project – the other authors on the panel have had a number of books published.

The next panel I served on was Space Settlement: Gravity Wells vs. Free Space where the subject was a discussion/debate on the pros and cons of space settlements built on the surface of a planet or moon (at the bottom of a gravity well) versus space colonies built in free space (at the top of a gravity well, ie Zero-G). Moderated by Patrick O’Connor, my co-panelists were Bill Thomasson, Henry Spencer, John Wardale, and Pat Sayre McCoy. Needless to say, the correct answer to the question of gravity wells or free space is that it all depends on what you are seeking to accomplish or what issue you are addressing. For example, if you are seeking to minimize transportation costs, not having to deal with planetary gravity wells significantly reduces costs. Conversely the vast majority of the solar system’s raw materials sit at the bottom of gravity wells. For my part, the economics associated with the development of a spacefaring civilization are a fascinating topic. Hence my presentation at the 2018 International Space Development Conference titled Factors Impacting the Sustainability of a Cislunar Economy.

Closing out my participation in Capricon programming was serving as moderator for the panel Dangers of Space Travel in which we panelists addressed the medical, psychological, technical, and physical challenges of space travel. The panelists for this session were Alia Federow, Martin Shoemaker, Henry Spencer, and Mike Unger. Much of our attention was focused on the question of life and whether or not it can adapt to space. Clearly the greatest unknowns are the biological issues associated with the long term existence of terrestrial life in a non-terrestrial environment.

Changing channels, this weekend I’ll be a participating in the SEA (Self Employment in the Arts) Conference in Chicago. At the conference I’ll be a panelist for the Making a Living in the Digital and Media Artsdiscussion, leading a round table discussion on Selling on Print on Demand Sites, and serving as the mentor for a small group meeting on Marketing & Selling Digital Photography. This will be the third year I have participated in SEA Conference programming and have found it to be a very fulfilling event. While oriented towards new and emerging artists, the quality of the programming is such that even seasoned artists would benefit. I highly recommend this conference to anyone for whom the creative arts is their source of income.

The Art: Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup

To illustrate this post I’ve used a newly created work of art that while its component parts are representative in nature, its final look is fairly abstract. I’ve taken a particular interest in the Apollo program this year because it is the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon – a truly historic event. I’ve created a few artworks commemorating this event and have put them up on Redbubble in my Support Space Exploration gallery.

The original artwork is 36 by 24 inches and is shown above. The version that is on Redbubble is a cropped version of the original and has been applied to a variety of products using different cropping and sizing so that no two are identical. If you’re curious to see the effect of the art applied to a tee shirt, you can check out the main product page.

Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module Mashup Collage artwork on Redbubble

 

Post Script: Planet Earth as Art Presentation

Tonight I’ll be giving my Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space presentation at a meeting of the Northwest Suburban Astronomers being held at the Schaumburg Township District Library. It’s a free program so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop in. For more, see my Calendar of Events for Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space or sign up for my Digital Media Newsletter.

Random Thought

In a conference call I was on the other day, the topic of software ecosystems came up. During this discussion someone referred to the ‘Microsoft ocean’. The first thought that popped into my head was the Bermuda Triangle. Enough said.

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Orbital Decay Interactive Algorithmic Art

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Orbital Decay Interactive Algorithmic Art
Orbital Decay Interactive Algorithmic Art on Redbubble

Orbital Decay is a work of algorithmic art I created last night and is 25 by 25 inches when printed at 300ppi (pixels per inch). To create this art I used an interactive algorithmic art program I finished writing yesterday. Traditionally algorithmic art was defined as art created by a largely deterministic, algorithmic process using parameters to control the process. Complicating the matter of categorization has been the introduction of that category of digital art known as generative art – which has substantial overlap with the algorithmic art category with respect to how the art is created from a computational perspective. In fact it has been argued that algorithmic art is a subset of generative art – even though the former precedes the later. Wikipedia has this to say on the subject:

Algorithmic art, also known as computer-generated art, is a subset of generative art (generated by an autonomous system) and is related to systems art (influenced by systems theory). Fractal art is an example of algorithmic art. Source: Wikipedia entry for algorithmic art

Why Algorithmic and not Generative?

So why have I categorized Orbital Decay as a work of interactive algorithmic art and not as a work of generative art? That’s a good question because this work does qualify as a work of generative art. However as I am the artist I get to decide what I want to call it – although I could argue that to label this art as generative would be equally appropriate.

You will note I have added the qualifier interactive to the algorithmic label. I did this because the creation of this artwork did require direct interaction from me. Unlike traditional algorithmic art programs which can be driven entirely by parameters and parametric settings (an autonomous system), this program as written could not create anything without the artist’s direct input throughout the creation process.

Orbital Decay is available as wall art and as illustration on a variety of products offered by Redbubble. Clicking either the link button or the image below will take you to the Orbital Decay Redbubble product page.

Orbital Decay Interactive Algorithmic Art on Redbubble

Orbital Decay Art on Womens Tee Shirts
Orbital Decay Art on Women’s Tee Shirts

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Generative Artworks: Hades to Oblivion

Friday, March 24th, 2017

A Cool Day in Hell Generative Art Landscape
A Cool Day in Hell Generative Art Landscape

One of the negatives with respect to digital art is that the concept of an original does not apply as it does with traditional art. With traditional art the original is the physical media to which physical paint has been applied and there will be only one. With digital art the concept of a physical original does not apply because of the nature of digital files, which are basically infinitely reproducible. What has long been viewed as a shortcoming does offer digital artists at least one unique capability.

Because the original artwork is a digital file that can be duplicated, it is possible to use that digital canvas as the foundation for the creation of other derivative artworks. One piece I recently completed is A Cool Day in Hell which had as its original working title Dante’s Inferno.

In creating this artwork, I used one of the generative painting programs I’d designed. The program could be characterized as the Adobe Photoshop Paintbrush Engine on steroids. With one set of parameters, I can entrust the program to do the entire painting by itself. This would be similar to the filter features of Adobe Photoshop or the auto-paint feature of Corel Painter. With another set of parameters, the program functions very much like the paintbrushes in Photoshop and Painter when placed under the artist’s control. The most interesting set of parameters are those that blend program autonomy with some degree of artist interaction. It was this third option that I used to create this particular artwork.

It was only after adding this art to my portfolio on Redbubble that I decided to take that artwork and use it as the starting point for another artwork. I decided to use the same generative painting program that I had used for the original piece. This derivative artwork, titled Passage to Oblivion, does bear a resemblance to the original on which it is based.

Passage to Oblivion Generative Landscape Painting
Passage to Oblivion Generative Landscape Painting

While similar, the two have different color temperatures, textural feel, tone and contrast. Compositionally, the large, open, somewhat mountainous subterranean landscape of A Cool Day in Hell is transformed into a claustrophobic feeling of being inside an eerie underground cave.

To see either of these two artworks on Redbubble, simply click the appropriate image above and the Redbubble page will open in a new tab on your browser. It’s particularly interesting to see how these two artworks look when applied to apparel.

Passage to Oblivion on Redbubble Apparel

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Euclidean Chaos Abstract Algorithmic Art

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Euclidean Chaos Abstract Algorithmic Art
Euclidean Chaos Abstract Algorithmic Art

Euclidean Chaos artwork on Redbubble

Euclidean Chaos artwork on CRATED

One of the projects I undertook over the Thanksgiving holidays was to create a new series of abstract algorithmic artworks. The first of these artworks that I’ve made available on Redbubble and Crated is the piece Euclidean Chaos.

The Euclidean in the title is a reference to Euclidean geometry. Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system described by the Greek mathematician Euclid in his textbook on geometry titled simply Elements, written sometime around 300 B.C. The fundamental "space" in Euclidean geometry is the plane. The chaotic aspect of Euclidean Chaos is, what is visually, a countless number of intersecting planes which constitute the artwork.

My analogy for this artwork is the cosmological concept of the multiverse or parallel universes – a system wherein there exists an infinity of non-interacting universes, each unaware of the other’s existence.

I hope you like Euclidean Chaos and will visit its pages on Redbubble and Crated (by clicking the buttons above) to see the variety of art product offerings available for this artwork.

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Earth, Islands, Moon, and Music Calendars for 2017

Friday, November 18th, 2016

2017 Calendars - Earth, Islands, Moon and Music Calendars

Last month I added four calendars to my Redbubble portfolio. Three of the four calendars involve space in that the source photography for the calendars is from space-based cameras. With respect to the images from space, image processing was performed on all the images in order to:

  • improve contrast
  • enhance color and detail
  • remove imperfections and noise

Islands of the World Calendar

Islands of the World Calendar

The first of the calendars is the Islands of the World Calendar featuring images of islands taken from my Planet Earth Satellite Imagery Collection on Redbubble. The islands in the calendar are

  • January – Andros Island, Bahamas
  • February – Maui and Kahoolawe Islands, Hawaii
  • March – Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
  • April – Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands
  • May – Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands
  • June – The Island of Hawaii
  • July – Isabela, Galapagos Islands
  • August – Tortuga
  • September – Faroe Islands, Denmark
  • October – Socotra Island, Yemen
  • November – Catalina and San Clemente Islands, California
  • December – Bermuda

 

Planet Earth Views from Space Calendar

Planet Earth Views from Space Calendar

Next up is the Planet Earth Views from Space Calendar which consists of images of Earth taken by a variety of manned space missions, primarily from the Apollo program.

 

Moon Views – Photographs of Our Moon Calendar

Moon Views - Photographs of Our Moon Calendar

The Moon Views – Photographs of Our Moon Calendar consists of lunar orbit photography taken by several of the Apollo missions to the Moon.

 

Synthesizer and Electronic Music Art and Photography Calendar

Synthesizer and Electronic Music Art and Photography Calendar

Lastly there is the Synthesizer and Electronic Music Art and Photography Calendar which consists of photographs I took at a synthesizer convention with some of the images having been subject to a strong dose of image processing.

 

I hope you find these calendars attractive. If you’re in need of a present (Christmas or otherwise) for someone, I hope that you consider one of these calendars as being the perfect gift.

Strangely I haven’t assembled any calendars based on my digital art. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I will have time to create any art-based calendars between now and Christmas. But then again … maybe I will find the time.

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New Landscape Art: Coastal Cliffs At Sunset

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Coastal Cliffs At Sunset Landscape Abstract Art
Coastal Cliffs At Sunset Landscape Abstract Art

Coastal Cliffs At Sunset is my newest work of digital art – which I completed on the Fourth of July. Stylistically I’m not sure how I would categorize this art. Clearly it is not representational art. It’s not really abstract art though it features abstraction. It’s not cubist either though it uses elements of cubism. Nor is it surreal – although in creating this artwork I employed some surrealism.

The creation of this artwork came on the heels of my creation of Stepping Through Time using a new workflow and algorithmic processing technique I developed. In fact the process that I used to create Coastal Cliffs At Sunset is very similar to the process I used to create Stepping Through Time – which you can see on either Redbubble or CRATED.

For background information about this process and workflow, see my article Creating Stepping Through Time Abstract Art, which also discusses pixel sorting, glitch art, and databending.

Currently the open edition version of Coastal Cliffs At Sunset is available for purchase on both Redbubble and CRATED. Follow the links below to see what’s available.

Coastal Cliffs At Sunset Landscape artwork on Redbubble
Coastal Cliffs At Sunset Landscape artwork on CRATED
Contact Jim Plaxco about Limited Edition Print availability


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