Processing Day 8: Juggling Too Many Balls, or, the Net

So to help with research with my thesis I want to start using Processing to do a mind-mapping sketch once a day to explore something that happened during that day. I want to start veering it toward my thesis which, in a nutshell, is about the imperfection of the written language as a communication tool (according to Umberto Eco, “misunderstanding is the only way of communicating.”)

Initially I drew this sketch because I was excited about arrays and the many possibilities! Then I was inspired by the stress I’ve been feeling lately and how I have too many things going on and thought the array would be a perfect way to demonstrate that feeling of being overwhelmed. Now I’m realizing that it can also represent my thesis too: it sort of reminds me of Eco’s description of the net as a way to understand that a definition of something cannot be described globally but instead only as a potential SUM of descriptions which has infinite possibilities. This idea of the net helps illustrate this because every point can be connected with another point and there is no center or outside boundary.

“It is evident that we use linguistic expressions or other semiotics means to name things first met by our ancestors; but it is also evident that we frequently use linguistic expressions to describe and call into life “things” that will exist only after and because of the utterance of our expressions.” – From Umberto Eco’s Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language

In this sketch I took the idea of the array from the last blog post and changed the lines to ellipses and filled them with a partially transparent orange. I also changed the color of the stroke to dark red and the weight to 2 pixels. In addition, I made the lines completely opaque. (They had been 50% transparent in the previous post.)


Here is the code:

// video sketch: arrays

//create the loop

int n = 1000;
float[] xTop = new float[n];
float[] xBottom = new float[n];

//make a loop to fill those in
for(int i = 0; i < n; i++) {
   xTop[i] = random(0, 600); 
 xBottom[i] = random(0, 600); 
 fill(#FF9900, 30);
 ellipse(xTop[i], xBottom[i], 100, 100);