2007  July 7

Computer Graphic-ishness

As someone who makes images for a living, I find that the process of making images gets harder with age. One would think it should be easier with time. Something about losing the ability to concentrate; or maybe perhaps a resistance to shut everything else around me. I was good at that when I was younger. Shutting out everything and everyone else around me. It made everything much simpler really.

Writing a simple computer program can easily lead you to complex imagery. It turns out however, that the real world around us is perfectly complex. So I wonder nowadays ... why bother to try to compete with Mother Nature? Of course I know the answer -- because we can [attempt to do so].

Around fifteen years ago I observed the cover of a Japanese magazine with a polygonal figure as the main subject. My immediate reaction was that it was done by computer. It turned out it was simply a wooden figure carved with few smooth surfaces. This sort of "hurt" my brain. At the time I was fixated with deriving a distinct category of computer generated imagery, only to discover that there could be no such thing.

Today computer imagery has very few such polygonal artifacts, thus making it close to impossible to distinguish real from the non-real. Does it matter anymore? Probably not. And thus I find the same satisfaction when snapping a photograph that I do in finding the right computer algorithm to express myself. The latter takes much longer to develop as an actual hands-on process of mathematics and computer codes; the former indeed takes less time as the press of a shutter button, but years in order to get to the moment when nature presents itself. Ready to be captured.

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Copyright 2005 - 2014, John Maeda