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Trip by S.M. Rachel M. Jardin

This generative art piece was inspired by film style of French-Argentinian filmmaker, Gaspar Noe. Known for his trippy, psychedelics-driven hallucinatory imagery in his films, I wanted to create something that pays tribute to his filmmaking style, (one of my favorite filmmakers). One of his most popular and ambitious films, Enter the Void, uses such imagery to the maximum, making it a rather dazed yet fascinating visual delight (think spirit in the sky over a neon-lit Tokyo backdrop). But most of all, I was the opening credits that really got my attention with that movie. However, if one watches the rest of the movie (including a bonus film called "Energie" that is just really a greate use of flashing Perlin Noise), lots of awe-inducing generative art can be seen esp. when one of the main characters, Oscar, gets high after smoking some acid. Most of the complex generative imagery are more advanced (such as fractals), but it's really inspiring for an abstract/chaos-art loving person like me, who is learning creative coding. However, since my level is only a beginner, I honestly just played around with lab assignment codes and tried to create something novel and "trippy" with them. Accidentally, I had matched two codes and overlapped them with each other and formed an eye. An eye! I had other things in mind at first, such as a rainbow swirl that I have never successfully achieved, even with the help of others. But I was content with this eye, because I had managed to have the pulsating circles look like rapidly dilating pupils of someone who is indeed going through a "hyper sensory" experience (not necessarily psychedlics-induced). Interestingly, there are two points of view a person can see this artwork: an omnipresent eye (full screen format - video #1) or a wave radiating, pulsating void (in its original 600x600 format - video #2). So the rather "accidental" artwork also turned into an exercise of perception, a concept in Psychology that I am very much interested in. Thus, suddenly the artwork becomes open for interpretation, not just an exercise in creative coding (regardless that it's accidental and a modification of laboratory codes!). In addition, I added a thin layer of what I would consider "bubbles" that semi-blend into the sunset-inspired background to form some sort of veil. It adds a nice touch as when someone is experiencing a altered state of mind, their perception can be "veiled" by the very state they are in. Hence, the artwork dynamically is a "trip" as an artwork in itself, and for the viewer, in terms of how they'll interpret it. An eye? A pulsating void? What can the veil mean? Like a Gaspar Noe film, it's loose and open to interpretation even if the premise is quite simple.

I am, however, a bit gutted that during the pop=up, my frame buffer did not properly (and fully!) project my artwork. But you will see how stark the colors are, and how rapid the waves and pulsating rings move. At the pop-up, the eye only ever peeped at the show. But I hope, with the now screencasted version (which is quite slow, due to my computer's limited CPU power), you can immerse in the full context of Trip.

Anyway, credits to Yewen Jin (my trusty classmate & co-dormer at halls) for letting me use and play with her lab code for the sine waves that made up the shape of the eye! Thanks, girl! Also, for Amber (my classmate in Term 2, though I am auditing!) for taking a video during the pop-up!

Links to check out:

Opening Credits of "Enter the Void":

Vortex Sequence of "Enter the Void":