Jason Stephens

The Printed Pattern Language

The Printed Pattern Language Project is a series of 13 variously sized wall-mounted screenshots from a generative Processing sketch, presented with 4 light boxes, 2 large canvases, and 7 traditional picture frames.


Materials and Building Strategies

After nearly 3 semesters of steep learning curves here at ITP, I decided to step back from the physical computing and software design and embrace the still image. Ironically, this lead me into new levels of PComp and programming as I created more and more elaborate mechanical control systems to assist in the evolving complexity of the software used to create the still images. The images are essentially screen shots of a generative art piece made with Processing. An arduino running 10 potentiometers along with a medley of keyboard commands allowed me to steer the parameters of a generative algorithm. The results were so captivating that I decided to enlarge some of the images and place them in various kinds of frames and light-boxes, which, thanks to my materials and prototyping class, I can now fabricate on my own.

The images in this project have traveled and interesting path. They started as live video feedback, which was recorded, edited and fed back into subsequent versions of itself using an array of analog video equipment. Multiple cameras pointed at multiple CRT televisions sent signals to multiple video mixers which in turn fed the signals back into themselves and into each other. The technique produced several types of infinities, which were themselves mixed together, sampled and looped back in. Meanwhile, I asked some friends for a list of 10 important words, which I compiled into a 250 word list. I then searched through hours and hours of abstract analog video feedback looking for single frames that best represented these words. This is how the Pattern Language first emerged. I then imported these images into a Processing sketch and began to experiment with recursive programming techniques. This then lead to an unexpected animation method, from which I captured the images found in this project.

Collective Consciousness (really)

The light-boxes and picture frames are all made using different techniques. Some combine found objects and fabrication. Others are made all from scratch. I've experimented with different joints, woods, glues and LED arrangements.