The Treehouse + The Cave

The Treehouse + The Cave: Digital Inkblots <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: '\x3d9561264\x26blogName\x3dThe+Treehouse+%2B+The+Cave\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3d\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3d\x26vt\x3d-2611371644715887499', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Digital Inkblots

It dawned on me the other day, that if I knew Flash it would probably be pretty easy to design a lightweight app that uses a random number generator-based algorithm to create an infinite number of unique Rorschach inkblots. Each inkblot could be composed of black vector-rendered circles of varying sizes scattered randomly upon a white ground, then mirrored to produce a symmetrical image.

Digital Rorschach - Creative Casual Game.jpg

Working with the idea, I made a few sketches and then the comp above, with which I'm quite happy. I like these digital inkblots for their graphic beauty (they remind me of a piece I made freshman year in Elements of Visual Thinking for Nancy Roeder), and I like them for the very reason Rorschach (and later Warhol) did--when examined, they produce an internalized stimulation of our creative centers. We imagine, we dream.

As I stared more and more at my dots, making piles of PSDs, I began to enjoy them the way I do crosswords--or sudoku rather. The inkblot test, when self administered or casually shared between friends, is an entertaining and healthy mental exercise. I firmly believe that most folks--if sufficiently self-aware and intelligent--can teach their brains to do new things. Sometimes magical things. This self-programming necessitates tools and strategies, not all of which require rigor. I think simple mind-games like sudoku and my digital inkblots are easily embraced re-entries into this field of tools.

Digital Rorschach - Creative Casual Game - Device Implementation.jpg

I can see a digital inkblot generator integrated into many of the devices we already carry. People peck at flip-phones, bowling--but what about the people out there who would rather have slightly more intellectual and constructive experiences facilitated by their devices? Picture a new iPod game that takes the data generated as you scrub your thumb back-and-forth over the click wheel at varying speeds--feeds it into the random blot algorithm and then out of your own gestures, makes a miniature artwork for you to consider. Or a cameraphone that takes a quick picture of whatever--feeds that data into the algorithm and creates a blot from your surroundings.

This is the direction I want to see casual gaming (particularly the mobile variety) go. It will take both technology and art to shift humanity towards a climate in which advanced self-understanding of thought processes is considered a priority, then later a responsibility. Our personal devices and what we choose to make them do for us can fundamentally change the way our brains work, don't think they can't.

In fact, I'd argue they already are.

Anonymous Tracy Hall thought:

Hi--nice inkblots. I once wrote a program for making fractal-like inkblots myself, in PostScript. In fact, I still have it online: Tracy Hall's Inkblot Generator. Most people still have to convert the .ps to a .pdf; a Flash version would be nice, I agree.

January 27, 2006 at 2:19 AM - Comment Permalink  
Anonymous danman thought:

hi there, :) its a good thing i was redirected to this site. :) i saw tracy hall's ink blot generator. and its cool because i can easily convert postscript file with adobe distiller. and its been great using the inkblots. i'm making an ezine that has no title but just the rorscach inkblot as its title. its pretty cool.

thanks again.

November 27, 2006 at 4:03 AM - Comment Permalink  

Post a Comment
Hide Comments