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May 11, 2006



LEGO Flockhart + BINARY Elliot

"Eric Harshbarger is serious. About LEGO. He does “Professional LEGO Sculpting and Mosaic Building”, with some serious building credits to his name. He also has an obvious obsessive streak, most likely a prerequisite for any dedicated LEGO builder.

Harshbarger’s LEGO mosaic of Calista Flockhart uses a quarter million LEGO bricks of the diminutive Modulex variety with letters. Using time-honored ASCII graphic techniques, he was able to turn his multiple bags of bricks into a physical ASCII mosaic, using different letters to create shades of gray. Modulex turns out to be a LEGO curiosity, as Harshbarger explains:

One has to admire the sheer tenacity of anyone willing to assemble an ASCII mosaic out of bricks so small they can barely be handled without special tools. But ultimately the question should be asked: Why Calista Flockhart? Why a photograph? The representational approach seems a waste of (a lot of) good bricks. more... [blogged by marius watz on generatorX]


The Waste Land--by Sai Sriskandarajah--is the product of a program that encodes text as binary and represents the resulting code visually. Each of the thousands of little squares in the images represents a 1 or a 0 -- smaller squares are 0s, bigger squares are 1s; every five squares represents a character of the alphabet. Through this simple system, one of the masterpieces of Western literature is both reduced and expanded, its meaning shifted as it moves from the realm of symbolic interpretation into the realm of visual absorption. The image not only allows the viewer to experience a familiar work in a new context, but also demands that she explore the connection between the text and the image, and the way that meaning is conveyed both symbolically and visually.

The text-encoding program itself is extremely flexible. The coding system remains constant, but both the source text and the manner of visual representation can be easily modified. The letter T, for example, is always encoded as 10011; however, these 1s and 0s can be displayed as black and/or white squares, squares of varying sizes, fields of color, or using any other visual system that allows for organization and differentiation. At the moment, the program generates rectangular images that are long and narrow (the exact size being determined by the length of the source text), which are printed on rolls of paper like ticker tape. However, the output can easily be switched to a more traditional landscape or portrait aspect ratio and printed as a large-format poster.

The program was written in Processing. Images are exported as .ai files with the Adobe Illustrator Export Library and printed manually on a large format printer. [via WRT]

Posted by jo at May 11, 2006 09:19 AM