Turing instability: the work of Jonathan McCabe

Every now and then, you stum­ble on the work of some­one so tal­ented it hurts. I already alluded to the ambiva­lent nature of admi­ra­tion in the pre­vi­ous post con­cern­ing the work of Robert Hodgin. On the one hand, it’s a joy to see such tal­ent. On the other hand, you can’t but feel pain at your own inad­e­qua­cies when con­fronted with a truly orig­i­nal, beau­ti­fully con­structed piece of code.

Jonathan McCabe and his art falls firmly in this cat­e­gory. The depth of his pieces betrays an admirable grasp of bio­log­i­cal pat­terns and arti­fi­cial evo­lu­tion. If there ever were sci­en­tists of art, Jonathan would be at the pinnacle.

Through his images on Flickr I got my first intro­duc­tion to Turing pat­terns. I leave it up to you to dis­cover exactly what these are. It’s not the des­ti­na­tion that mat­ters, it’s the jour­ney (sig­nif­i­cant pause). An entire new vista of com­plex­ity has opened up for me and if I, or you, can ever pro­duce a piece that reveals a frac­tion of the inher­ent beauty, it will be time well spent.

I’ll def­i­nitely work on code explor­ing this new ter­ri­tory. I only hope that I can find an approach suf­fi­ciently dif­fer­ent to war­rant pub­lic expo­sure. In the mean­time, please explore Jonathan’s work and the fas­ci­nat­ing foun­da­tion it builds on.

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  1. You’re totally right. This really cap­tured me. I’m not sure I’ve seen any­thing cre­ated algo­rith­mi­cally quite like this.

  2. Pingback: Algo-fashions, chains of knowledge in creative communities and Jonathan McCabe, fountain of ethereal knowledge | Simple agents in a multiplicity

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