Returning to R
Once upon a time, R was my best friend… but many good years have passed since then, and we quickly grew apart. R remained true to its mission and developed even better skills, while me … well, I’ve kept exploring many things…
R was a great friend, always ready to help me make sense of the world, being very objective in the advice provided, and patient with me while learning a new language.
I could consult R pretty much about anything as long as we’d spend some quality time together. From objective analysis on global events to predictions and advice on investments, R would always help.
In a constant state of exploration, I wanted to meet new interesting characters, have new experiences, and I feel like I’ve just used R and moved on…
But in the past few weeks, I’ve remembered R in quite a few conversations. Then, the more I met with new people and discussed opportunities, the more R’s name came up again and again. Interestingly enough, I’ve met R in a location at the heart of one of my series of paintings. I guess life goes in circles sometimes. I can now feel R calling me, even if my phone is not ringing.
Ok, R, it might be time for us to get together again.
Facial expression analysis, electrodermal activity, electroencephalography, electrocardiography, electromyography – We have new experiences to explore together.
But this time, I want to redefine our relationship.
This time I won’t just use you. I won’t ask for the correct answers and advice; this time, I want to empower you to inspire me. This time we’ll collaborate in your studio and my studio.
I’m excited to meet again and see what value we can create.
See you soon, R Studio, my friendly data science platform. We’ll talk about Shares of Creativity collection and integrating my heart rate and brain data into the canvas in real-time.
PS: I’ll introduce you to my friend from Greece, λ
Exploring generative art with R and Processing
As I was thinking about data a question kept coming back every day:
How can I somehow dynamically move the integrated assets around my canvas?
Why? I started to think about the impact of my art and the impact I hope my target audience can create by leveraging the underlying assets. I continued thinking about the possibility of having the elements on my canvas moved based on data, data regarding the problem I’m reflecting upon or real-time data about the usage of the underlying assets.
The thought that my artworks are trying to evolve in my mind also fascinated me. The idea of a potential installation, a canvas with moving parts, also triggered some more ideas.
There are still many unknowns and much to explore, but for now, I’ve explored using R and Processing, updating the colour of the dots representing the assets and the location in real-time based on an external data source of precalculated λ values.
Skin in the Game
Being challenged to try something risky, something different, I decided to explore some ideas for a collection that I’d like to name Shares of Creativity. If you’ve made it so far in the article, I hope the first 2 parts offered a view of the exploration and reflection that contributed to this part.
I’ve explored ways for capturing my heart activity and other metrics using R, stream them through a server and display them in real-time in the circular shape of my artwork, using acrylics on natural leather and a backlight panel.
I’ve researched some leather suppliers, ensured their sourcing is responsible, only as a by-product of the meat industry, providing end-user traceability, and I’ve ordered a few samples to start exploring.
I’ve soon realised that I have a few challenges:
- The acrylic paint I use won’t help me with leather, and I need to explore new paints
- I have no knowledge or representation of how leather behaves over a long period, especially if it is not maintained compared to a linen canvas.
- And probably the biggest challenge of all, the cows are not as big as I need them to be! I was hoping to stretch the leather in one piece on a 264×163 cm frame.
While I still feel the medium could be perfect for this collection, it might also prove challenging to make it work. Still, I will keep exploring what’s possible through binding with as few marks as possible, studying special leather colourants, and researching other artists working in leather or creating leather paintings to check the effect of time on the quality of the material.
I hope one-day answers will show up as questions are now.