Tag Archives: Trace

Trace Back In Time – to tie together

How Stomach Bacteria Can Trace Prehistoric Events, by Med Gadget Internet Journal of Emerging Medical Technologies.

What would it be like to trace the history of standards and technology adoption through time?

Would it be obvious most building codes are in response to a disaster or emergency?

Could you see that most people interested in open source prefer Macs?

Brainwave Sofa is exactly what you were thinking also at MedGadget where “Ever wondered what a piece of furniture formed from raw data extracted from your brain would look like? But of course you have, and so did Lucas Maassen and Dries Verbruggen, the designers of the Brainwave Sofa. Mr. Verbruggen had his brain activity measured while he closed his eyes for 3 seconds. The extracted EEG data was used to create a 3D landscape with the x-axis representing the frequency of brainwave activity in hertz, the y-axis is the percentage of activity, and the z- axis is time. The sofa was then created in its physical form by a five axis computer numerical controlled machine, which creates a three dimensional object out of foam.”


Trace Continuous Threads

dance pattern IssacPastoral

Yang’ge Dance Patterns and The Pastoral Dance Pattern by Mr. Isaac

The diagrams above show dance patterns. Its easy to imagine how these shapes and places to put your feet could be drawn on a floor for dancers to follow. Experienced dancers could probably just look at the diagram and recreate the movements.

By contrast, its more difficult to imagine how dynamic movement of information could be diagrammed to be followed and recreated by others. Below are examples of a cellular automata pattern about Emerging Complexity by Stephen Wolfram, LLC.

This image confuses Photoshop because pixels and colors are more continuous than they seem. There are actually very few boundaries or stopping points. The flow is constrained to limited dimensions with all elements are moving in the same direction.


If working with this pattern was like preparing a set of building specifications – the first step is starting with everything possible. There are patterns which are unseen here before dimensions are constrained. First, a process of elimination to look at only parts. Then working with each part. Some parts may be the exact same on several levels. They can be picked up, inserted, repeated and slightly modified to fit within the set of working information. Tracing paths through working sets and patterns could be a really fun mathematics and art problem.

Finding Continuous Threads

1 – Light Blue – finding the fastest way through.

2 – Orange – trying to cut across horizontally by inferring a line. Started looking for configurations with a sharp tip and two vertical lines going straight down on both sides.


3 – Purple – noticed some of the orange shapes had a strong spine of exactly repeating shapes in chains of varying lengths.

4 – Blue – noticed some chains were independent from the ones colored orange in the red pencil shapes.

5 – Light Green – easier to see by itself with trails above filled in.

Depending on what you are looking for, there are lots of ways to find and isolate repeated elements and trace continuous threads in seemingly disconnected, parallel tracks. If the patterns themselves could be worked on to push the information around in the first place…

computer placement

Sketch to figure it out, automatic placement by the computer of 2 unlike scales, some angles still align.


Based On


Image collage presented to Jim Crutchfield at Santa Fe Institute and the Art and Science Laboratory in 2004. The black and white backgrounds are evolving cellular automata patterns, the blue lines were added to trace continuous threads.


Form, Shape, Trace, Reckon, Calculate, Represent

The Institute for Figuring

To Figure: To form or shape, to trace, to reckon or calculate, to represent in a diagram or picture, to ornament or adorn with a design or pattern.

The Institute for Figuring does not yet have a physical space. Their location in the conceptual landscape is permanently located on the edge of this iconic fractal.mset_forweb.jpg

Institute for Figuring (IFF) Mandelbrot set location: (-0.7473198, i0.1084649) with detail (color inset.)


Crochet model of hyperbolic plane by Daina Taimina

In 1997 Cornell University mathematician Daina Taimina finally worked out how to make a physical model of hyperbolic space that allows us to feel, and to tactilely explore, the properties of this unique geometry. The method she used was crochet. See [105] Hyperbolic Space Crochet Models for more information.

[105] Hyperbolic Space

[111] It is one thing to know that something is possible, it is quite another to understand what it is. Like the blind man and the elephant, hyperbolic space appears in different guises depending on how we approach it. One way of visualizing this enigmatic space was discovered by the great French mathematician Henri Poincar?. In the Poincar? disc model the entire hyperbolic space is depicted inside a circle.

disc1 Poincare Disc Model of Hyperbolic Space

Image and text above from the website of the Institute For Figuring (www.theiff.org)


Brings to mind topological knots. Images below by Sofia Lambropoulou.


Escher mechanical trefoils


Ancient knots in Berlin museum


Mongolian knots on stamps