by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

March 31, 2006

Sheep at OpenLab in London

The Electric Sheep will be shown in OpenLab, "an evening of audiovisual innovation with opensource" this Sunday 4-11pm on Brick Lane. Thanks Chun!
Posted by spot at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)


Last night I finally watched Renegade the movie known as Blueberry in its original French. We watched with subtitles. I had been told I must see it because it uses FLAM3 graphics and indeed there are about 3 places where a clear, delicate white fractal flame appears as a layer. It is just one of many effects in a visual movie divided between trip sequences and truly awesome southwest american landscapes and time-lapses.

This isn't the first time flames have been used in a film, but it is the first time that they've been mentioned by name in the credits. In the effects section, there's one line for "3D graphics", one line for "2D graphics", and one line for "Flame graphics". A category of my own :) thanks guys! Someday someone should update the AEFlame plugin with the latest FLAM3 module....

Posted by spot at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006

150GB/day of torrents

I am happy to report that we're delivering about 150GB/day by BitTorrent to about 290 users. About half seem to be sheep clients with libtorrent.
Posted by spot at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2006

FLAM3 Color Shifting

Here's a new experimental FLAM3 feature: color shifting. In these four images the parameter is set from 0 (original, normal, unshifted) to 0.001, 0.01, and 0.04. Without color shifting this sheep, by Chris Ursitti, cannot be adjusted to use more of the palette. It is inherently almost monochrome because one of its xforms dominates in weight. So the color coordinate converges, and you get monochrome. But if you reduce the weight, the shape is ruined. The color shifter recognizes convergence and breaks it by shifting the palette as long as the coordinate remains fixed.

This hack is only a few lines of code in flam3.c and is checked into CVS.

Posted by spot at 05:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2006

Dreams at EquaLuma

Dreams in High Fidelity will be shown at EquaLuma starting Saturday night, March 25th at 7pm at The Imperial Gallery at ABCo, 3135 Filbert St. Oakland, CA. EquaLuma (the equinox was on the 20th) is devoted to light emiting art of all kinds... finally a show where the house lights are off! I believe though that you will have no trouble seeing as the gallery will be totally illuminated by the work itself.
Posted by spot at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

Bomb at Electro-Music

Just got a message from a musician performing at Electro-Music in Philidelphia June 2-4 saying his band "fringe element" would use Bomb for visuals during their set. Sweet!
Posted by spot at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2006

sheep windows client 2.6.6b5 released

get the latest torrentized client here. this one has much better startup time from nothing to first sheep. thanks Radnelac!
Posted by spot at 11:00 PM | Comments (2)

March 18, 2006

Getting Sheep by BitTorrent

This blog entry has been superceded by this one. Please read it instead. Thanks!

If you are on windows try the 2.6.6 from David McGrath with BitTorrent built-in.

On Linux v2.6.5 supports using Azureus with its RSS Plugin to download sheep. Configure it to drop the torrents from the feed directly into "~/.sheep".

On Mac you can use azureus like on linux, but you have to move the sheep into your cache directory manually.

If you have a firewall then you must forward ports 6881 to 6889 for BitTorrent to work properly. Or you can configure the client to use a different port range.

Posted by spot at 02:03 PM | Comments (26)

March 16, 2006

Captcha Wars

I have a spam problem. Not just in my email, where we use SpamAssassin on the server combined with Firefox's Bayesian filter in my client, but in my blog comments and in the public forums I run on my web pages. Sadly the net is rife with spambots searching for forms they can fill in, creating comments with links to their master's webpages in order to boost their google-rank.

I first tried to defend myself by using a filter of spam URLs that was collaboratively maintained. No matter how often I updated the db and how often I added my own patterns to it, I couldn't keep up with spam in my blog. It came in piles, 20 at a time.

I then switched to a Captcha, a puzzle or question that is difficult for a robot to answer. Most are based on vision or reading, making them a problem for the visually impaired, but that's a whole nother story. The good news is the spam stopped... for a while. It seems the robots had learned to decode the aberration to the text introduced by the captcha. I altered the code to do something different, but the spam came back. I altered it again to the point where it's difficult for a person to read. This game of cat and mouse has played out over months and years that I have run this blog. Captcha Wars are going on all over the internet.

And now the spam is back again, about one per day. It's different than it used to be though, now instead of batches of similar messages it's just one or two. At this point I suspect a sweatshop.

Posted by spot at 12:12 PM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2006

sheep windows client with bittorrent

Radnelac aka David McGrath has released a beta windows client with bittorrent download support built in. Download from his page. We'll roll this into an official release asap.
Posted by spot at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

linux sheep client v2.6.5 compatible with bittorent

Redhat rpms and src tarball here. This version recursively reads the cache directory to be compatible with a bittorrent client that subscribes to the feed. For examaple Azureus or DTV or you tell me.
Posted by spot at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

BCP: Stone Window Gallery

Shout-out for Brit Baker talented potter and my cousin. Last week had dinner with my dear Aunt Corny & Uncle Phil, his parents. We ate on Brit's plates and bowls and I loved their abstract zen look. If you find yourself up the Hudson valley, drop by his gallery in Accord, NY or order by phone for shipment anywhere.
Posted by spot at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2006

Jim Fournier on Electric Sheep

Jim Fournier co-founded PlaNetwork and now a founding partner of Eprida wrote this wonderful quote:
Electric sheep is not only the most visually rich and compellingly beautiful VJ graphics program I have seen, it is also one of the best examples of emergent collective intelligence arising out of a distributed peer-to-peer network. Sheep are systems theory made real—augmented electronic evolution where swarms of human preference and aesthetic discernment shape the evolution of the flock—just as humans have for millennia shaped the characteristics of our real sheep, and show dogs, and any other products of intentional breeding, these virtual flocks are shaped by the decisions of humans, now not individually, but in a constant flux of dynamic democratic negotiation. Real politic in America would do well if the electorate actually behaved as intelligently as these electronic sheep instead of the real sheep they/we seem to resemble.
I wonder sometimes about the "democracy" of the sheep. About a year ago I changed the genetic algorithm to use a logarithm of popularity to effect breeding instead of a linear relationship. Why? It was acting too winner-take-all, only the top rated sheep were reproducing. I felt like I had just instituted progressive taxation. I don't mean this as a claim to liberalness, or benificence because nobody kills more sheep than I do. And for all I know the run-away reproduction resulted from unrelated design flaw, and my solution was just a hack. I mean to suggest a question. If we can measure how well the GA is working (by counting the votes it receives) then perhaps we can compare different political systems. At least, assuming you're a sheep.

thank you jim.

Posted by spot at 02:45 AM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2006

Interviewed on TV in NYC

Last night I was interviewed live on The New Yorkers, broadcast on TV26 and 35 in NYC, 11pm - 1am. The show will be aired 10 times at the same time over the coming weeks. James Chladek and I chatted about the Dreams in High Fidelity my new artwork.

The program is also simultaneously webcast worldwide.

Posted by spot at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2006

Help Steve Kurtz

Steve Kurtz is an peaceful academic being persecuted as a bioterrorist. Why we can only guess. On its face it appears as a politically motivated attempt to silance an artist whose work is critical of government policy. Organizational momentum, inability to admit errors, and political correctness (of the right-wing variety) may play a role. The only thing we can be sure of is that Steve Kurtz is innocent. Unfortunately he needs to prove that to the court, and lawyers are not cheap. Please help Steve.
Posted by spot at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2006

Catalog of Prints

Posted by spot at 10:29 AM | Comments (1)