"Genetic Sand Painting," the other two images below, and host of others now lost forever, were all created in a single session with Karl Sims' wonderful genetic texture program running on a Connection Machine 2 at Thinking Machines, Inc. headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I found the fecundity of the genetic process for creating images absolutely astounding -- I felt that in a week I could have created a lifetime's portfolio as an artist; it was that productive. Alas, I had only a single afternoon, most of it spent learning to deal with the strange new machine, this massively-parallel supercomputer that was my idiot savant assistant, and that afternoon was dedicated to creating a single image (this one) for the 1993/94 Fractals Calendar.
If anyone out there has a working CM2 with a frame buffer, I'd love to have a chance to resurrect the other images I created that day. I have all the software and genomes archived...
This image also appeared in the SIGGRAPH '93 Technical Slide Set.
"Splash" was another of the fractal images I created in that brief session with Karl's software and the CM2.
In the genetic paradigm, a LISP (programming language) expression is treated as the "genotype" and the texture or image it encodes is the "phenotype." The program puts several mall images on the screen; you point and click on one you like. It then "mutates" the LISP expression and gives you several variations on the one you chose. You can also choose two, and it will perform the analog of sexual reproduction by swapping genetic information between the two expressions. It's about the simplest interface I've seen -- fast and prolific! (assuming you have a CM2 to drive it, of course...)
This image was featured in the 1994/95 Fractals Calendar.
"Match" is the last of the phenotypes that I stored as an image file.