Frederik Vanhoutte



On this site you’ll find a col­lec­tion of code exper­i­ments explor­ing gen­er­a­tive graph­ics, com­plex­ity, geom­e­try, chaos, par­ti­cles and any­thing else that catches my inter­est. It’s hard to find a suit­able name for this, art is way too pre­ten­tious, algo­rithms too cold. Constructs seems to be suit­able, suf­fi­ciently mechan­i­cal but with a touch of craft.

Everything on this site is pub­lished under a Creative Commons license. Basically you can use what­ever you like, but let me know and give the proper acknowl­edg­ments where due. Everything on the site is strictly ama­teur work, done off-hours, mostly at night when every­body else in the house is sleep­ing. The code some­times looks like it’s writ­ten by a sleep­walk­ing code zom­bie, and that’s because it was. If my atten­tion span (think buz­z­saw in a bal­loon fac­tory) allows it, there might be com­ments in the code. Some of them could even be relevant.


When rain hits the wind­screen, I see tracks alpha par­ti­cles trace in cells. When I pull the plug in the bath tub, I stay to watch the lit­tle whirlpool. When I sit at the kitchen table, I play with the glasses to see the caus­tics. At a can­dle light din­ner, I stare into the flame. Sometimes at night, I find myself behind the com­puter. When I finally blink, a mess of code is draw­ing ran­dom struc­tures on the screen. I spend the rest of the night staring.


I’m a 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 year old med­ical radi­a­tion physi­cist with a PhD in exper­i­men­tal solid state physics. This site is my way of keep­ing some blood flow­ing to the right side of my brain. Without it, I would prob­a­bly tip over to port.


Bear with me on this one. One of the sto­ry­lines of William Gibson’s novel Count Zero con­cerns the Boxmaker, part of a frag­mented arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence resid­ing in an orbit­ing space sta­tion. It’s only remain­ing pur­pose is cre­at­ing Joseph Cornell type boxes from float­ing debris. Boxmaker is in a way a descen­dant of two other A.I.s, Neuromancer and Wintermute.
The image of this con­struct cre­at­ing art by dis­as­sem­bling com­plex items, going beyond the lim­its of its mechan­i­cal pro­gram­ming, has remained with me ever since I first read the novel. When I started play­ing around with gen­er­a­tive algo­rithms in 2004, I thought Wintermute to be a fit­ting name, quite wrongly as I would later realise. The name, short­ened to W:Mute (in part because other web­do­mains were unavail­able), was espe­cially appro­pri­ate since a) my orig­i­nal inten­tion was to never address you, the viewer and b) win­ter has always had a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for my fam­ily.
Anyway, tak­ing a name from a novel isn’t a smart move, espe­cially from a pop­u­lar one. Aside from this, there were other rea­sons to step away from the orig­i­nal Wintermute. Generative cod­ing builds com­plex­ity from sim­ple things, quite the oppo­site of the orig­i­nal Wintermute. And fun­da­men­tally the gen­er­a­tive code is guided to its final form by an inescapable human sense of esthet­ics. So the machine-like nature of Wintermute, how­ever strik­ing the imagery is, was actu­ally not what I intended to con­vey.
So W:Mute became W:Blut or Winterblut, Warmblut, Wereblut,… No longer mute.