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

February 26, 2008

The God Particle and CERN

National Geographic has a nice story about the new Large Hadron Collider at CERN, including some fantastic pictures by Peter Ginter.

The story includes a diagram of the a collision generating the God Particle, aka the Higgs Boson. Am I nuts or does that look like a fractal flame?

Posted by spot at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

Sheep on

Design and the Elastic Mind, curated by Paola Antonelli and Patricia Juncosa Vecchierini just opened at MoMA. The Electric Sheep were selected to be part of the online exhibition, which will be hosted on permanently. I went to the pre-opening party last Tuesday and was blown away by the quality of the artwork and the professional presentation.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this happening.

Posted by spot at 12:24 PM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2008

Sheep on the Cover of Leonardo

Leonardo, the journal of the International Society of the Arts, Science, and Technology, has been a mainstay of the scene for 40 years. The most recent issue has a retrospective on ten years of the VIDA artificial life art competition. I receieved prizes from from the jury in 1999 and 2001 and I am very pleased to report that not only was my work included in the article, but chosen for the journal's cover. Thanks to VIDA and the editors.
Posted by spot at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2008

New Flame Paper

It's been a long time coming but Erik and I are prereleasing a new and updated version of the fractal flame paper. You can download it here. This is the definitive explanation of all aspects of the visual language that's the basis for Apophysis and Electric Sheep.

You may comment on the forum.

Posted by spot at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

Migraine Auras

Oliver Sacks writes in his NYTimes Blog about what migraine auras and hallucination tell us about beauty and our brains.
Posted by spot at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2008

FLAM3 v2.7.9 released

Get it here. The change log:

non-zero weights for final xforms no longer allowed, and now have no effect. recompiled windows exes with mingw gcc 4.1 to take advantage of scalability improvements in flam3 2.7.8 (was compiling with mingw gcc 3.4 until now). for fedora package compliance, patched by ian weller and moved use of config.h to c files only.

If anyone has comparative benchmarks for 1, 2, and 4 core systems on Windows, please let me know.

Posted by spot at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2008

Music/Video with Per Bloland and Michael Straus

I just delivered a 12.5 minute 2.4GB video file to composer Per Bloland to be delivered with music to saxaphonist Michael Straus for his upcoming tour What Are You Looking At?. The piece is called "FeXIV (Iron Fourteen)". Look for the NYC premiere at Monkeytown on March 9th.
Posted by spot at 12:43 AM | Comments (0)

FLAM3 included in Fedora

Ian Weller has brought the FLAM3 package into compliance with Fedora package standards and shepherded it (ha) from tarball all the way to the public repositories. So now users of Fedora 7 or later can just say:
sudo yum install flam3 flam3-devel
to get access to the FLAM3 tools without configuring or compiling anything. Thank you Ian!

I would love to find someone who can do the same thing for Debian and/or Ubuntu.

Posted by spot at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

February 06, 2008

Don't Think "Elephant"

Calligraphic packing, with apologies to Lakoff and thanks to Cass.
Posted by spot at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2008

Electric Sheep Reuse Policy

In the Electric Sheep, the sheep themselves, their genetic codes and the images from them are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Those who remix and reuse though are left with a question: how to give credit?

I have answered this question on a case-by-case basis, and over time this developed into an unwritten policy. Recently I realized (translation: a good friend pointed this out to me) that to facilitate sharing, reduce confusion, and hopefully increase compliance on this point I should write down and publish the policy. The result is on the top menu of the sheep home page, and the fine print at the bottom of every server page. Please take note! I quote it in full below, as a record. Questions and comments on the forum.

Do you want to display Electric Sheep screensaver images and animations on your website or place of business, or at your event? Do you want to sample them into your own works or put them in your film or on the cover of your album or book? We're glad to hear it! You may do this free of charge, on the condition that you give credit by saying "images by Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep".

The Electric Sheep are distributed under a Creative Commons license that requires you give credit. Here is how the works should be attributed, depending on format:

1) for still prints: either on the work in legible text, or next to the work on a label or caption.

2) for video screens or projections on the wall: on an adjacent plaque, illuminated if the lighting is dim.

3) for use in a film or video: in the credits at the end.

4) for live mixing by a VJ, if the sheep are just a few of many clips in your show, then it suffices to attribute and link to on your web page, blog, myspace or wherever you promote yourself online. if the sheep are a substantial part of the show, then they should get credit in the program or flyer.

5) for use on the web, then attribute in legible text and link to

6) on an album or book cover: attribute in the inside credits.

7) If you design your own sheep, attribution is not required. Rerendering designs from the server does still require attribution.

8) use without attribution is possible with purchase of a license. for example, to use electric sheep in an advertisement or product packaging, contact XXXX.

In contrast, Dreams in High Fidelity, high-res prints of Electric Sheep, and Scott Draves' other limited-edition art is not available free of charge, see or contact YYYY for more information. ADDENDUM: the reuse policy has changed, please see

Posted by spot at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2008

The Price of DRM

I'm damn pissed. The past week I have been having conniptions. I had a tight deadline on a commission with Per Bloland and After Effects kept erroring out with a nonsensical permission failure. WTF? I ended up taking my mac mini on the plane with me from NYC to SF because I had unavoidable travel and the project was stuck. Well I just found this explanation: new DRM checks gone bad. What are Apple's priorities??

update: somehow I missed this on Boing Boing 11 days ago. Does this mean I should be reading bb more??

Posted by spot at 01:27 AM | Comments (0)