Morgan Green and Andrew Bearnot, RAPUNZEL, 2021, scanned images from live-generating printer
R A P U N Z E L produces volumes of unique but mundane material — each printed segment different from the last. While a human hair grows smoothly from a follicle, these digital hairs register line-by-line, branded into thermal paper. Our algorithm produces images that are infinitely novel, but as hairs on a body, they appear the same in essence. Unfurling along a sensitive tape, they nevertheless seem to record something. Like a lock from a lover, this segment is yours to take home. You might revel in its particular kinks, its imperfections, perhaps the pierce of light entering its bend.
After observing hair under a microscope, we coded an abstraction that references hair’s subtle reach. Our program’s parameters produce boundless hairlike images. Matter, rather than mathematics, dictates that each has an end point. The system that designs these drawings uses Pierre Bézier’s formulas, layered with functions for tapering and shading. Bézier curves are ubiquitous in design and particularly typography. Our shaded curves too suggest calligraphic scribbles — clipped somewhere in the middle: segmented thoughts.
These works explore systems of meaning, using computation to create the illusion of language, but ultimately frustrate the viewer with illegibilty.
binary digits against a fold, 2019, collage, ink and laser engraving on paper, 9" X 12"
binary digits against no labels, 2019, collage, ink and laser engraving on paper, 9" X 12"
loom & cipher
Starting in fall 2019, I began teaching a workshop that included a hands-on material history of computing, meant to instill a tactile understanding of electronic computation. For the purposes of this workshop, I created an analog binary decoder, inspired by the history of cryptography. I also used The Interlace Project's portable loom, to help illustrate the relationship between weaving, encryption, and computation.
I first held this workshop as part of my scholarship at Pumping Station: One, and have since been hired to hold it at other venues including Mana Contemporary and The Wing. So far, the workshop has filled up within a day or so of posting.
analog binary decoder / cipher wheel
Works contain text live-generated using Emily Dickinson's corpus as training data. Part of the Special Collections at Amherst college. Click to learn more.
2018, digital video, accelerated speed video poetry machine outputting to thermal printer
2018, digital video scrolls of synthetic poetry on thermal paper, blowing in the wind