Visual artist

The World Is Not There: First Coded Images

It’s been a while but finally I begun to have some coded images for my Processing project (see previous blog entry here). I’ve been publishing the data pictures in this Pinterest album: The World Is not There.

Follow Paco’s board The World Is not There (working images) on Pinterest.

The first processing lines are going to be here and anyone can use them the way they like.

Twint #41I should write many functions: how to blurred some parts of the image from a random alpha channel, how to skew the photographs, how to tint them (the image of this article uses a function that create a color ramp, between other processes) , how to transpose them…

I will published the finished pictures here.

The project itself is not a collection of pictures but the software. I am designing and artist, not a given image.

Just by chance. I found a folded poster in a shop boutique. The separation between the image and the front plastic created a false blur in the eye. The true magic was that I was looking for a similar effect through a complex code, so this one has not been edited by the machine.twint_14_temp64


Sketch book. May-September 2015

Sketch book. May-September 2015

Before getting rid of my last moleskine sketchbook I photographed all of the pages. I upload here the whole book (September-May…

Diagraming the history of comics

I’ve been working with databases and diagramming software applied to comics. The project started with two objectives:
  1. To visualize a possible history of comics.
  2. To feed a diagram using a public database in order to avoid a manual design.
Click on the image to see the diagram with all of the node names.
In summary, I started using yEd software, an opensource application with many possibilities but I also wanted to show pictures as nodes. I ended up using Gephi, a complex opensource application that (through this plug in: image preview) uses square images as nodes.
Here you can see all of the files.
Limiting the Comic History to only 90 authors supposed a disadvantage when I tried to target edges of influence. More than 100 years of comics are a too wide range, even more if you include some artists, illustrators and animators (as I did). The relations I made are quite elastic and the original idea was to ponder the list with other opinions. I should add another 200 artists to work properly but this is a huge task (I just name a few of the future list: Gil Kane, Jim Steranko, Francisco Ibáñez, Vázquez, Taiyo Matsumoto, Sammy Harkham, Dan Nadel, Simon Hanselmann, Sergi Puyol…).
I included from funnies to underground, well established and young experimental alike. American, European and Japanese. I didn’t include some of my favorites (as a teenager reader) but I add some others with little references but a strong personality: Master Ebisu, Milt Gross or Matt Brinkman,  for instance. Some of them remain an island (I know that Johnny Ryan was influenced by Frank Frazetta, but I don’t know who considers Richard Corben an ancestor). That probably is true for other artists (the ones that didn’t established themselves as narrators).  There are artists like Yokoyama that are not able to name another artist as an influence and others like Max or Spiegelman that could easily name hundreds of them.
Some of them are more interesting as editors or commentators than as real authors. Some authors are quite young and they still have their best works in their imagination. 
I think that is a good point to start re imagining the subject.
I talked to some of the new artists included in the list and I realised that this canon is little more than personal: they didn’t knew some of the relations I had envisioned for them… but that’s OK.
ComicHistory_paco_rico_finalClick on the image to see the diagram with all of the images.
Here is the node list (and the file with secondary info):
Winsor McCay, George Herriman, Frank King, Fletcher Hanks, EC Segar, Milt Gross, Chester Gould, Carl Barks, Walt Disney, Boody Rogers, Herge, Shigeru Sugiura, Basil Wolverton, Jim Flora, John Stanley, Saul Steinberg, Miroslav Sasek,  Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Alberto Breccia, Charles Schulz, Andre Franquin, Harvey Kurtzman, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Osamu Tezuka, Gerard Lauzier, Kazuo Umezu, Yoshiharu Tsuge, Moebius, Richard Corben, Hayao Miyazaki, Jose Munoz, Robert Crumb, Kim Deitch, Justin Green, Ever Meulen, Jaques Tardi, Joost Swarte, Yoshikazu Ebisu, Art Spiegelman, Bernie Wrightson, David Gibbons, Gary Panter, Ben Katchor, Jim Woodring, Alan Moore, Katsuhiro Otomo, Roz Chast, Akira Toriyama, John Kricfalusi, Andrea Pazienza, Marti, Max, Suehiro Maruo, Frank Miller, Gilbert Hernandez, Peter Bagge, Raymond Pettibon, Jaime Hernandez, Kaz, Chester Brown, David Mazzucchelli, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Julie Doucet, Tim Hensley, Chris Ware, Yuichi Yokoyama, David Schrigley, Kevin Scalzo, Nicolas Mahler, Ron Regee, Johnny Ryan, Carlos Maiques, Brian Chippendale, Matt Brinkman, Adrian Tomine, Chris Onstad, CF, Miguel Noguera, Jose Domingo, Simon Roussin, Irkus Zeberio, Kyle Platts and Gabriel Corbera. Comic History_nodes-paco rico
An example of the multiple visualizations based in the influence of a node.
I dreamt of a software that could reorganize the information based in different data (country, born date, out degree and in degree, critical acclaim…). I make public here all of the files. Gephi uses two files as inputs: a node file (I made a csv from a spreadsheet) and an edge file (just the same). After you can use some powerful plug ins in order to organize the size, position and colors of the nodes and edges. The infinite possibilities of algorithmic combination gives you new ideas about the genesis of a style or about the spiritual motivations of authors that initially you thought had nothing in common.
And… I ended the post without saying alternative comics…. ops!

The Body Artist

This code of mine generates a canvas of between 2700 and 3500 pixels. It is written with Processing.
The code picks at random from a database of images 6 cropped pictures forming an abstract man and a frame with a color gradient at the background. I tried to grab directly from google the images, but my code powers are quite limited. It also changes the background based in a particular color of a picture.
When any key is pressed the code calculates new positions of new loaded pictures.
When mouse pressed saves a TIFF.
You can download here the software and make yourself a couple of thousand of collages for your boyfriend (in case you don’t like the muscles pictures you can place at the proper DATA folder pictures of flowers or anything else).

I promise to write the next project (the good one!) using a proper syntax with classes.

Enjoy them.

body_14_1 body_14_2 body_14_3 body_14_4 body_14_5

Humanness explained to an alien

Some drawings from my summer moleskines. I won’t use again the square format because the paper is too thin.
molesk_paco_box_14I was thinking about a collection of medium size drawings on ideas around mighty Beckett.
I guess I won’t do any stuff with this sketches any time soon so I will spread some of them here.
I began explaining humanness to an alien. Just like that. My daughter successfully helped me to do so.
Then I visualised the sentences using only a limited set of objects and materials: bricks, porex, aluminium foil, boxes… kind of poor but powerful things.

Minimal patterns. Processing sketchs

I share a couple of works done with the Processing software  and published in the Openprocessing platform. They are just an approximation to the possibilities of algorithmic creation of patterns. I came to this thinking on a previous project of mine that used this kind of patterns: Accidents/Catastrophes.

This code generates a canvas with a random black and white pattern based in rectangles and columns.
Pressing some keys we can control the size of every variable (width, height, size, inclination…):
“q”-“a”, “w”-“s”, “e”-“d”, “r”-“f”, “t”-“g”, “y-“h”, “u”-“j”
When pressed “p” it saves a TIFF file of the image.

This code generates the same but when any key is pressed the code calculates new sizes of the variables.

On endurance/The Hornbill Rap

This morning at the zoo. A perfect match of music performers on an endless loop. A couple of singing hornbills doing the thing they are supposed to do.

The World Is not There

I’ve beginning to work in a series of photographs intended to feed a Processing software that I should write this season. I will publish the pictures in this Pinterest album and if the results are minimally appealing I will publish the algorithmic works in my web later under the title name: The World Is not There.

Follow Paco’s board The World Is not There (working images) on Pinterest.

I would like to think that the software will handle the pictures the way the old Ramon Llull invention: a cybernetic construction from the XIII century able to convert muslims and jews into christians. A machine thought to give all the explanations. I’m not that ambitious. My machine pretends to characterise any given pictures randomly. This random process deforms or tint minimally the picture. My pictures try to catch some relationship with the world but they fail. Now that the project is started I feel that my aim is simply focusing from style to simply choice. What can be added to them by the machine? You wait and see.
The World Is not There 16

The World Is not There #16

Voluntary workers

Floats above the whole project the idea of ​​avant-garde movements as volunteer workers
for a better world.
The base of the installation consists of an ordered series of large drawings of objects and buildings. Those forms reminds me the modern movement: Soviet blocks, manufactured objects, minimalist rows and mass accumulations.  They point out a number of critical associations that maybe can be read as a commentary on Robert Venturi in his studies on urban development of Las Vegas: Learning from Las Vegas.  b_co_co_tenants_11w

There graphite technique of some drawings creates images impossible to photograph. They have to be observed directly (as if it were a daguerreotype … or an all back picture by Ad Reinhardt ) .
The second important element , the photographs , reproduces abstract elements of the world around us : blocks, structures … subconscious remnants of the degradation of the world. Abstract forms of constructivism, Bauhaus … all with a taste totalitarian brutality. The photographs have been manipulated slightly to look even more abstract .
A third element consists of a ball pen installation called: “Voluntary Slaves”.


Drawing with code

Defining an art style, what a gentle business for an artist. In recent years I’ve been creating images in a certain way… whenever I was near to understand what I was doing I just get bored with the subject. Then I thought that it would be kind of interesting if I could explain those art patterns, that we artists develop, to a computer. Is it possible to design anything with algorithms? If not now… in the future?.

The software could be feed with a database of images and variables that explains a (limited) style (colors, lines, relations and so on) and be programmed to create automatically the works of art mostly based in a certain random.

I started writing that program with a very simplistic software that I used with my daughter: Scratch (we designed together a very simple video game). Then I learnt some javascript to make it better.

This is a sample of the code that I wrote

This is a sample of the code that I wrote

The program creates (just with a click!) the relations between the polygons, the colors and also picks up the pictures used in the drawings. The collages created are printed automatically. The software can print trillions of them without repetitions (one per second with my iMac). I could implement the variations but I think that I made my point. What you see here are the first 13 collages. I didn’t make more because otherwise I should choose the better ones (something human by now… because of my poor coding).

I used extremely large porno pictures because the drawings are also related to the much needed desire (or desired need) of good rendering in our society…and I feel that I have already said too much.

Here you can see also some of the first real collages that I used as references initally for this project.