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Gimme an arm: work in progress

The only working camera I own is the one in my phone.

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Probability stuffs

With very much huge thanks to Adam Chappell for massive techno-logicical support on the animation, which I was baffelywozzeled with. THANKYOU VERY MUCH SIR! Today was an interesting day. But I want to make some card versions of this. So that can be hand held and shuffled manually by people. Here are my 9 (not 12-20 unfortunately due to time) pictures that connect up in any order, they took along time. Above is a random stitch-up example of what freeze frame of the animation MIGHT look like (click for bigger). Ill try get the animation on line.

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To determine what I specifically want to illustrate, so that I can illustrate it, here is a definition of probability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability):

Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. In mathematics the concept has been given an exact meaning in probability theory, that is used extensively in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, and philosophy to draw conclusions about the likelihood of potential events and the underlying mechanics of complex systems.

1) Its impossible to demonstrate something completely random because of the constructed (subjective and selective) aesthetic involved in making visual art. Meaning that because I have SELECTED how to represent it, it cant really demonstrate randomness.

2) There exists only finite numbers of possibilities that we can physically experience, party due to the fact that our lives and knowledge is finite and also due to the fact that we can not observe, process and/or conclude massive (or infinite) numbers of events simultaneously.

3) I am going to represent probability within a particular framework to show that parameters in nature (as far as we can understand or explain) do exist . The framework being the aesthetic, which upon observation becomes something visually familiar that introduces and element of predictability.

4) I am going to create a sequence of pictures (12 to 20 depending on the time taken to create them) that can be arranged in any order as long the order is linear, and always match up to a whole image. Behaving like any other pattern, however each re-arrangement is a different picture. The individual pictures will be very similar because of their aesthetic- playing the role of physical parameters.

5) It important that I make this piece interactive so I can provide a means of explaining that estimations and observations are a human interaction. To support what the EPR paper says arguing hat the quantum theory is incomplete: "It can only make statistical predictions on objectively existing physical properties" and in consideration of the statement made by Neils Bohr "It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature..."

6) I want for the sequence to be a sort of animation or game that involves re-arranging the different pictures so they make an whole image every time. It would be ideal to program an animation that re-arranges the images at random when you press place and another command that plays them one frame at a time. Shuffling the images at random in every frame which is supposed to represent that in some way the parameters I have mentioned are unpredictable by nature.

I will persist with this plan, although there are a million other things I could choose to illustrate that would be more straight forward and more effective. For example, it would be a more direct approach to this brief to illustrate how bacteria grow and communicate or even the rock cycle or water cycle or the digestive system. Perhaps this approach is a bit too conceptual? Or cryptic? But then again, probability is quite cryptic, although it is much more than a concept.
I am choosing this response for 2 reasons

1) Because of what I will get out of it in technical terms. (I have to do some work in flash.)
2) Because I want to use this year to try things that I have thought about doing before but never had the opportunity to do them- which to me is a definition of making the best out of a situation.

Having said this, to be honest I consider this solution, not entirely effective because it can not stand alone as an image and deliver a direct message to you even though it will be interactive. Bugger.

a) Do I want to approach this question literally and as directly as possible, my definition of illustration being that it is a fundamental and universal form of communication that explains a concept, story or thing.
b) Do I want to use this brief to attempt something that I have wanted to try for a while?

I consider my response a fulfillment of both these things, predominantly the latter, which is why I am choosing this idea. I dont know when else Ill have the time to try it out or learn some flash. I would like to investigate this brief again in the future with more consideration to at point a).

But really, all I am doing is making pictures that can be shuffled into a new one. Not something Ive ever personally tried but not a new idea at all! Here are two examples of illustrations that I have copy and pasted from some other blogs that I think potentially could be used to demonstrate the topic I am doing AND in a similar way:

From Peter Nencini's blog, relevant to probability because of the different cut and paste re-arrangement possibilities of the 'Card Kit' http://peternencini.blogspot.com/



A Card Collage Kit for my kids' Christmas School Fair last December. The interchangeable modules allow for Pious or Pagan takes on the season. Of course, the children's cut-and-pastes that resulted surpassed my expectation, imagination and ridiculous linear logic. My favourite, consigned to memory, was an apocalyptic reindeer skull.

Similarly this entry about The Tangram is relevant. Where 7 different geometric shapes (that are segments of a square) must be re-arranged into recongnisable forms. By Darryl Clifton from the Camberwell blog: http://camberwelldesign.blogspot.com/

The Tangram is an ancient Chinese game which comprises of seven pieces derived mathematically from a square. The object of the game is to put the pieces together to form something recognisable. The pieces must touch but not overlap, this means that each shape retains its integrity but the whole forms a shape with a specific meaning. Like words in a sentence, almost.

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Fact Illustrations

'BBC Life' interactive tree of life: http://www.open2.net/treeoflife/index.html

Here is an example of biological illustrations from http://ajourneyroundmyskull.blogspot.com/.

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Useful: http://www.learningelectronics.net/vol_1/index.html

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Probability and Patterns: Vagueness beyond your standard drunken memory is nothing more than fact

This happens to be important to the concept/topic I have selected because what I am concerning myself with is has alot to do with probability.

All events occur at random through out the universe but are described as deterministic. Similarly, its is interesting to question if the constants of nature, were any different would life have emerged? Not to mention many more uncanny patterns in fractal geometry and constants such as pi and e. Needless to say, what are the chances of living in a world where the constants of nature are just right to give rise to life? Well, pretty high, considering that this is the case and the only case (so it seems) that this is possible, if the constant of nature in this universe are suitable for the emergence of life in some corner, then life will emerge- and indeed it has seeing that we can talk about it. 

Lest not be negligent however of this interesting observation: 

'Knowledge of the external world is "relative" only in the (comparatively harmless) sense that what human beings can know is restricted to  the way the human mind is organised.' (Dieter Freundlieb, 1991). 

"It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature..." (Neils Bohr)

SOOOO, lets not all fall in love with our ideas to the point of obscurity!

ANYWAY, coincidental improbable phenomena are suggestive of those which are more discrete, the discrete unlikelihoods that lie hidden in probability are the ones I am interested in. All I can definitely say is its all very mysterious and unlikely! (Yet the chances of being here must be pretty high). Probability is measurable, but probabilities change constantly when variables are subject to their own set of crazy rules. Thats why they are called random. No space for linear logic here!

Truth be told all measurements of physical quantities are subject to inaccuracy as the nature of measurement is subject to ± inaccuracies all the time. In addition to this, we have problems observing reality objectively. For instance, the 1935 paper by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, argued that the Quantum-Mechanical theory is incomplete; that and It can only make statistical predictions on objectively existing physical properties, ‘A sufficient condition for the reality of a physical quantity is the possibility of predicting it with certainty, without disturbing the system.’ (EPR, 1935, 1). The position and momentum of a particle (two properties needed for defining what they are) cannot simultaneously be known: ‘In quantum mechanics in the case of two physical quantities described by non-commuting operators, the knowledge of one precludes the knowledge of the other’ (EPR, 1935, 1) and ‘the scientific observer has to make a decision which to observe, playing an unwilling subjective role in determining the definition’ (Ede, 2008, 21).

Anyway, Mathematics IS all around us, we can gauge patterns from observing with our eyes such things as growth and hearing cadence patterns in music. Interpretation of the natural world is vital to our survival. The 'maths' behind these observations is immensely complicated but all of us can experience how a tree grows in some way, but a sense impression is not a guarantee of understanding. We need to know something more than what we sense. Some kind of 'objective message'. Although perhaps mathematics is the in fact a liberal art as it is not always drawn from nature but sometimes completely constructed- yet still completely real , provable and objective in what it means. Which much like ART has an independence in it 'value', you needn't understand art to appreciate it and the maths needed represent reality to 'make sense'. 

S O M E   C O N S T A N T S  
Pi: π is a constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space; this is the same value as the ratio of a circle's area to the square of its radius.

e: The constant e is base of the natural logarithm. I remember asking about e when I was doing my A-Levels and I never got a good enough answer, through example we were taught about it which I think is good but I wish someone had told me in a memorable visual way that it was a constant that existed with a formidable nature: e is the unique number with the property that the area of the region bounded by the hyperbola graph , the x-axis, and the vertical lines and is 1. e = 2.71828183. Sometimes known as Napier's constant, although its symbol (e) honors Euler. (See this)

There is, as another example known as the golden ratio, which is an irrational mathematical constant much like Pi and e. I will elaborate on this constant as a pre-prelude to my selected topic. The GOLDEN RATIO is approximately 1.61803398...etc, is a line segment divided according to the 'sum of the quantities to the larger quantity' equal to 'the ratio of the larger to the smaller'. BASICALLY, It is a geometric relationship that is the midpoint between asymmetry and symmetry, when "the whole is to the larger as the larger is to the smaller", a proportion that exists as a property. It exhibits itself in many things in nature, perhaps a result of the trial and error in evolution and an example of nature's efficiency. Its an interesting constant a natural development (or emergence/design) which has lead to efficient survival of many a sun-flower (in how economically their seeds are spaced in their flower heads) as well as and beauty in some of the art and technology that humans derive. Nature is good at saving time and space- by nature! 

There is no magical life substance or super-nature that makes life happen. The universe is (some how) a result of ordinary, inert matter exhibiting 'extra-ordinary behavior' (Davis, P. (2009) The Quantum Life, published in Physics World, Vol. 22, No.7 (July 2009), pp. 24-28). The ordinariness making it even more extraordinary. It seems that energy, in what ever form it may take is self organizing; as if  connections between apparently unrelated things. 

As for objective reality it is important to introduce Bells Inequality. In theoretical physics, Bell's theorem is a no-go theorem, a paradox loosely stating that: No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics. So basically, it is unpredictable by nature. Unless something is observed and measured it can not be shown to exist- a fact which is objective. Weird and logical- all at the same time.

* "One of the principal features of quantum mechanics is that not all the classical physical observables of a system can be simultaneously well defined with unlimited precision, even in principle."

Even with multitasking quantum computers capable of simultaneous calculation well on their way, it seems that humans are finite, as is their intelligence. There is a limit to our knowledge, which I am frankly relieved at, this is one reason why our mortality is so wonderful.

Please visit blog entry from Wednesday, 4 February 2009: Sir Vival (Author Project: GENESIS)

One of the principal features of quantum mechanics is that not all the classical physical observables of a system can be simultaneously well defined with unlimited precision, even in principle. Instead, there may be several sets of observables that give qualitatively different, but nonetheless complete (maximal possible), descriptions of a quantum mechanical system. These sets are sets of "good quantum numbers," and are also known as "maximal sets of commuting observables." Observables from different sets are "noncommuting observables".
Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen collaborated on a paper arguing hat the quantum theory is incomplete: "It can only make statistical predictions on objectively existing physical properties"

NB: Einstein believed the world was very complex, which is true. But he affirmed that there must be an underlying law that places everything in order from its immense complexity. An order that because it follows a law, must be predicable, that there must be some kind of statistical way of predicting how it works. His view that events occurred in conjunction to some underlying order lead to his view that things 'do not just happen'- (hence the quote: "god does not play dice with the universe", to which Niels Bohr replied ''quit telling god what to do''- Not that either believed in a god-like physical entity). Interesting response. The search for the fabled theory of everything, I think lies with in probability. But what is the difference between causality and randomness if both in effect do occur? If they do then they are both measurable (even if in some cases something is being assumed to be present). In some way they both come from a physical quantity being measured or predicted and lead to a physical reality. But thats not my concern or priority.

In conclusion: I must draw some pictures and stop with these digressive ramblings!

As another digression, here is an amusing parody of one of those high-school educational programs called LOOK AROUND YOU, its ridiculous. Useless information and nonsense definitely has a place in the world. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pj2NOTanzWI&feature=related

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Here is a section of a collaboration with Isabel White for FBBB. Results from this collaboration were plentiful, neither of us were concerned about space, precious about our own work or demanding of the aesthetics we would normally individually create. We deliberately worked over and under each other in an attempt enhance each others contributions regardless of the difference in our work. I am very pleased with the results.

Thankyou Isabel.

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William Flawn and myself were asked to make a sticker for the next BITEPROOF.
Flawn was reponsible for the word PROOF and I did BITE.

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FACT: Sixty Symbols

In accordance to the brief we have been set about fact:

A bunch of scientists at Nottingham University collaborated with video-journalist Brady Haran to make this very interesting site http://www.sixtysymbols.com/.
These 60 important symbols are each linked to videos made to elaborate on its purpose or application and how these concepts, quantities or symbols exists in different disciplines. (Perhaps leaving one to deduce how they are all connected or applicable to each other in some way. )

Videos from a 1956 partly animated TV series call OH OUR MR SUN, one of the Bell Laboratory's educational programs. It aimed to explain and critique some of the contemporary scientific discoveries or questions of the time. They are quite amusing as there are a few references to the time and its funny how 'new' DNA is in the second video Ive posted. These are important things to try and teach and the animation is great.

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Handmade and Bound: Affordable art-book and zine fair

I made a zine from past work and things from from the DRACULA fiction project.

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Windmill Brae: Ode to Aberdeen jobby

I was asked by a friend to make a flyer for a night in a place called Origin on Windmill Brae in Aberdeen. I lived there a few years ago. I have used the painting I did for this flyer in a zine I made for sale at HAND MADE AND BOUND on November 1st 2009 in St Aloysius Social Club 20 Phoenix Rd, London, NW1 1TA‎. Many thanks to Rosie who has organised a stall for us.

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Drawn for Dracule

Working on a sequence.
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1897 rail map and symbols for Dracula

For 'everything' task: Dante's Inferno, symbols of loss, superstions, religeons, Whitby Abbey and rail map of London dated 1897. Focus is now on trances, hallucinations and madness.

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Elective day is on Friday

After a relatively prolific discussion about theory, practice, the constructed concept of aesthetics and the benefits of reflection and analysis on practice, I was thus introduced to my elective of digital environments. Which was good. I have set up a blog especially for this part of the course and this kind discussion aptly named POSITIVE NON POSITIVE: http://positivenonpositive.blogspot.com/

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Mutate Britain featuring TWIGFACE

Tonight is the private view of MUTATE BRITAIN. A highly prolific event/exhibition of outstanding initiative and innovation that has been steadily growing underneath the Westway near Ladbrook Grove station. Ive seen it mutate over the last few weeks and it's looking exceptional. Its put together by the Mutoide Waste Co who brought you TRASH CITY. The people involved are fascinating and have done some outrageous, wonderful things. Im glad to be involved with them and to have seen all the other artists generate such an interesting space. Its going from 9th-25th of October 2009. There is lots of time for you to visit. Here is their blog

AND! You can purchase a beautiful giclee print of TWIGFACE (the owl I painted) here, the Mutate Britain online store! 

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IN RECEIPT: A very thin layer of conventional thermal sensitive material

It has recently been drawn to my attention that most receipts are not printed using ink. The information displayed on most receipt paper is infact transferred onto the 'paper' which is coated with a very thin layer of conventional thermal sensitive material. The information is created by a light (heat) source 'spelling out' the information onto the surface, causing a physical fusion process to take place in the thin thermal sensitive layer part of the surface (e.g. of the receipt paper) where by the areas exposed to the light source melt rapidly and assume a change in pigmentation. The trick lies in the fact that the change in pigmentation only takes place when in liquid state and the heat makes the thermal sensitive layer change phase from solid to liquid. This change is permanent when it cools and re-solidifys, which happens quickly. The faster it cools, the more lasting the effect. The side of the paper with out the coating is left unchanged.

Anyway, this for me was astounding. I had a most exciting day playing with light bulbs, lighters, kettles and this has been right in front of me all along. People bang on about thermal transfer printers all the time and yet no penny dropped. Until now.

Here are some of the results from heat-play. Its very exciting that the backs of all these receipts remains unchanged compared to the difference that appears on the coated side.

Rubbing also marks this paper type because friction creates heat. I would like to get my hands on some massive sheets/rolls of this paper and will read up about something called 'thermochomism', the likes of which exists in mood rings and those mugs that change picture when hot beverage is poured inside. It will be of use to me.

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The work of MATTHEW BARNEY and other images

Matthew Barney (born March 25, 1967) is an American artist who works in sculpture, photography, drawing and film. I think these examples of his work relate visually to some aspects of Dracula. http://www.cremaster.net/

1) View for the air from this website of Pir Pangal Range near India.
2) Temple and Enclosure of Marttand or the Sun, near Bhawan in Kashmir A.D. 490-555. I like this, thought it rather tomb-like. (Found imagery for Dracula- reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole's Archaeological Survey of India Report 'Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir.' 1869).