Self-organization and image synthesis.

My first experiments in programming were about the accumulation of successive deformations applied to simple forms, the next generation about non-repetitive patterns, the third and last about spontaneous order, or self-organization, a phenomenon of emergence observed by sciences from sociology to physics in the last half of the twentieth century. This new way to conceive reality departs from traditional descriptions based on simple linear statements, and is particularly adapted to our fast-changing non-linear world. The pictures of fractals from Benoît Mandelbrot first caught my attention, then Stephen Wolfram’s work, A New Kind of Science, and Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers’ La Nouvelle Alliance.

The World’s beauty is often the consequence of spontaneous order, so rather than interpret in an etched work the appearance of this human or wild nature, as I do for forty years, I tried to simulate the conditions of its emergence by working with simple systems, imitating nature in its genesis by letting graphical elements, the graphemes, to organize themselves following my rules.

It has been said that life is an emerging property of chemistry, human societies are self-organizing structures, although from a layman’s point of view the self-organizing aspect can be challenged. Our societies are composed of unique individuals belonging to families, having relations with other individuals, ruled by laws and personal affinities. This simple model is transposed into my code where society is the graphical space, individuals are the graphemes, the generation process applies global rules (the laws) and local rules (the personal affinities) to the graphemes.

Human code in the Swift language. Machine code. Image result

Above, from top, the human code is converted by compilation to machine code, then converted by execution to an image.

To a use simple system to simulate the complex systems of human societies brings technical and theoretical challenges that I have not addressed. My goal is to explore image synthesis potential by mimicking emerging structures of nature, the society metaphor will continue to guide me in the code development.