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David Hockney is one of my favorite artists. Two years ago, I went to see his exhibition at DeYoung Museum. I love his colossal canvases, delicate drawings, and inventive montages. But I felt very disappointed when I saw his iPad and iPhone drawings.

In his Woldgate charcoal drawings, for example, I see a countryside that is brimming with light and textures, with such intense vitality that one can almost feel the weather and touch the trees. In contrast, the Yosemite iPad drawings appear like unfinished sketches. Pixelated lines waver and fluster, as if they cannot keep up with movements of the hand. Monotonous digital brushes fill the sky with smog and litter the land with rubber bands. …

This is an introduction to Pt. Pt is experimental and fun. You can read more about the motivations here.

This guide will talk about the basic concepts of Pt, and I would like it to be understandable to people who are learning to code. Please bear with me if it seems dull at times.

I’ll just assume you can read basic html and javascript code and nothing else. If you already know javascript well, check out the demos and the docs. If you like spoiler, this is what we’ll be building in this guide.

Let’s get started then. We’ll first create an html file, which grants us the power to show cats and stuff on the interweb. (If you don’t have a text editor for coding, try the free Atom editor .) Let’s save it as start.html. …

Point, Form, and Space — an experiment

By a like law we see how earth is pied
With shells and conchs, where, with soft waves, the sea
Beats on the thirsty sands of curving shores.
Wherefore again, again, since seeds of things
Exist by nature, nor were wrought with hands
After a fixed pattern of one other,
They needs must flitter to and fro with shapes
In types dissimilar to one another.

— Lucretius, On the Nature of Things

Two thousand years ago, Lucretius described a universe of atoms, by invoking Venus and composing in heroic hexameters. Words are indeed codes, transforming ideas into syntax trees and then back into ideas in a reader’s mind. …

Kubist transforms an ordinary image into cubism-like composition. You can play with the web app and get the source code.

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A few years ago, I came across a curious image made of colorful triangular tiles. The triangles seemed to be placed randomly, and somehow they looked rhythmic and unified. How does that work?

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Delaunay triangulation maximizes the inner angles of a triangle. This is an animated image from Wikipedia’s article.

Then I learned about Delaunay triangulation. Fascinated by the algorithm and its aesthetic quality, I quickly experimented with it in Processing. The resulting tessellations reminded me of Orphic Cubism paintings , with sharp colors and rhythmic mosaic, though perhaps a bit more mechanical. …

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While well-cooked pasta is good for teeth, well-designed pasta is food for thought. When I was living in a small Italian town, I cooked pasta and contemplated upon their forms in idle evenings.

What a fantastic medium to capture tomato sauce indeed!

Spaghetti often isn’t sauce enough, and Rigatoni sometimes has too much. Variations of Fusilli (spiral-shape), Farfalle (butterfly-shaped), and Casarecce (has a nice twist) are lovely, practical, well-engineered solutions.

But my favourite is Canalini: it is like Linguini but with a “canal” in the middle, into which the perfect amount of sauce flows. It is an intellectual pasta.

Because of these witty, elegant, and high-carb inventions, life is good.

(Testing medium with a little piece written in 2009)

William Ngan

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