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

July 28, 2004

my new event & announce lists

I've finally entered the modern age of marketing. After years of depending on my various social lists to promote my events and releases I'm finally going solo:

If you'd like to be informed of the best parties in town, attend my latest gallery opening, get a sneak peak at my next dvd release, or hear about source code releases and technical publications, then please subscribe to the appropriate lists with the handy web form.


Posted by spot at 02:00 PM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2004

sheep on ZVUE

The "Best oF Electric Sheep" tracks from the SPOTWORKS DVD are available for the ZVUE portable media player.
Posted by spot at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2004

sheep in runtime art

Runtime Art selected Electric Sheep for exhibition.
Posted by spot at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

sheep on

Electric Sheep has been selected to be part of's second exhibition titled video/net/art.
Posted by spot at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

Rising Sol

On Saturday July 31st in a underground location, Sol System presents Rising Sol, a Burning Man fundraiser. I'll be doing live visuals on two screens. Note: this event will sell out.
Posted by spot at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2004

appearances this week

Thursday evening I'll be Planetworking at the McBean Theater at the Exploratorium. Doors open at 6pm and the presentations begin at 7.

Then live visuals for the Church of WOW Burning Man fundraiser at One Taste. Below is the email:

Verbum, LunaSea Productions and the Church of WOW

are pleased to present the

Salon + Gallery + Dance Party

Thursday July 15
10 pm-2 am
One Taste
1074 Folsom (@9th)


Church of WOW's Music of the Spheres
€ DJ Goz - psygroove
€ DJ Shill - eklectic beats
€ Satori - psychedelic breakbeat
€ CaroLuna - live video/vocal performance

Virtual Playa demos by Andrew Johnstone

Innerdimensional Visuals by VJs
€ Luna
€ Spot
€ Etherlight
[with blendo of 2003
Burning Man by Luna]

Transparent Network Gallery - reprise from Digital Be-In 13

Sound System by Satori Sound

WOWerful Refreshments and Food
€ Smart Drinks by Life Enhancement
€ Crepes and Chai by Christof

$10 donation requested
(for the Burning Man WOW camp music fund)

PLANET WOW UPLIFT is a FUNd-raiser for the Planet WOW entertainment system
at the 2004 Burning Man

This WOW Salon is being held in conjunction with the screening of What the
#$BLEEP*! Do We Know!? mind-expanding film (opening in SF on 7/23).

We are pleased to announce that What the #$BLEEP*! Do We Know!? And Alex
Grey's World Spirit will be screened on Planet WOW¹s giant Playa Video
screen at this year¹s Burning Man.

A new Urban Retreat Center on Folsom at 7th specializing in workshops and
events focused on ³soulful sensuality.² This is the inaugural event at this
beautiful new venue. The ONE TASTE grand opening is on July 30.

Visit Planet WOW on the Web...and on the Playa
Posted by spot at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2004

Sheep in Shining Armor

Discover Magazine covered Electric Sheep on page 26 of Volume 25 Number 8 in a story by Steven Johnson on distributed computing. The story isn't on their web site and I don't know if it ever will be, so I went ahead and typed in the relevant text (hence mistakes are mine). I don't have a scanner yet and my digicam is broken, but I managed to get this picture of the layout.
Distributed computing also has an aesthetic side. Consider the Electric Sheep project, dreamed up by San Francisco artist and programmer Scott Draves. The program has a "hall of mirrors" quality to it. It's a screen saver that generates new screen savers: incandescent fractal animations that twirl on the computer screen with a pulsing intensity. Draves wrote the original cod for the graphics, which he called a fractal flame algorithm, more than a decade ago. It was capable of generating mesmerizing animations, but there was a catch. He needed a farm of high-end computers and a few months to do the rendering just to generate a single 10-second sequence.

Draves's software code was eventually incorporated into a popular video-editing program called After Effects. One day in 1999 he received in the mail a videotape that showcased a series of fractal flames that someone had rendered on top-of-the-line machines. "I was really impressed with it," Draves says. "It was beautiful. One night, I was watching it with my friend, and I thought, 'Wow, I wish I could do this on my own, but I only have this stinky little PC.' It would take months to render it, let alone design it. SETI@home had just been announced, and the distributed-computing idea was in the air. So I thought, 'Let's apply that idea to rendering fractal flames.'"

Draves added a Darwinian twist. Not only would individuals contribute th unused processing cycles of their personal computers to rendering the animations, they'd also vote on the aesthetic merits of individual animations. Draves called these animations sheep in homage to the classic Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which became the basis for the movie Blade Runner. Sheep that receive disproportionate number of positive votes pass on some of their visual characteristics to the next generation of sheep, while unpopular sequences have their traits die off. The result is a dual positive-feedback loop. As more would-be artists participate in the project, the rendering time decreases and the animations become increasingly visually pleasing.

The difference between the first-generation sheep and the latest incarnation is a vivid lesson in the power of evolution. The initial runs look like snowflakes or crystals: elegant but frozen in the their architecture. The latest runs look like an intoxicating blend of coral reef and fireworks display. They look alive.

Draves even sells high-resolution DVDs of his most accomplished sheep. In a strange way, you can think of what he does as the digital-age equivalent of farming: He takes a precious unused resource (sunlight, processor cycles), collaborates with a group of willing partners (plants growing fruit, computer users voting on attractive sheep), and persuades people to pay for the goods that he harvests.

addendum: it finally appeared on their website.
Posted by spot at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

sheep @ amoda

The Electric Sheep Best of 2002 track from SPOTWORKS will be screened at the Amoda Digital Showcase #28 on Thursday July 22nd in Austin Texas.
Posted by spot at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2004

vibrant pix

vibrant. independence day. willits.
Posted by spot at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Sheep in Discover

Electric Sheep was covered in the August issue (Vol 25, No 8) of Discover Magazine. This issues isn't on their web site yet but is available on paper. I'll get a scan up soon.
Posted by spot at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

fuse in fleshbot

The fuse algorithm and galleries were covered in Fleshbot.
Posted by spot at 03:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2004

appearances this week

This Friday, July 9 I'll be doing visuals at StudioZ for the premier of Dances of Ecstasy. DJ Cheb i Sabbah and DJ Dragonfly will spin after the movie.

And on Saturday I'll have an Electric Sheep installation at the Awe to Action conference.

Posted by spot at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

new promo quotes

I've received two new promotional quotes on the SPOTWORKS DVD:
Beautiful and mind-boggling. The endless zoom into the weird polyps of Ernst Haeckel is stunningly original.

Rudy Rucker, father of cyberpunk.


Spotworks is a totally mesmerizing display of etheric color and form. Projected at a party , I've seen the fractal flames utterly engross people on the dancefloor. It's a unique visual analog to psychedelic music.

Shakatura, DJ and Music Producer

Thanks guys! I am honored to be associated with your good names.
Posted by spot at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)