Field Studies

Images of simulated bird flight

In 2012 I taught a course at the School of the Art Institue of Chicago called Code Sourcery. For part of the course I used pre-release code from Daniel Shiffman's stellar book The Nature of Code. The section on steering behaviors, based on Craig Reynold's famous algorithms, particularly caught my attention. Before I knew it, I was developing code for "boids" that could draw as they flew. I added wind and invisible obstacles, and investigated a range of behaviors, from strictly aligned or spaced flocks to drunken and agitated flocks. All of these behaviors became expressive tools. The Field Studies series of prints was one of the products of this effort.

The images were generated by my own interactive application written in Processing—an early version can be found at Open Processing. Graphics were exported to Adobe Illustrator using my IgnoCodeLib Processing library, and rendered at very high resolution in Photoshop.

A large selection of my algorithmic art, including more images from generated from simulated bird flight, can be found here, in my Flickr account.

Archival prints from the Field Studies series, some in limited editions, are available at Ignotus Editions.