Computation Driven Art

Sometimes while browsing the internet, I have come across sites that make me sit up and pay attention. These sites are portals, not in the true sense of web-portals, rather they are portals to a different way of looking at things, or doing things.

I am talking about http://www.levitated.net.

It is a web site dedicated to computation driven digital art. Not necessarily restricted to static forms of computer generated images.

It opened my mind to looking at everyday things in a totally different way. To simplify complex systems into many simple smaller systems interacting together, their interaction governed by simple basic rules.

Almost intelligent.

There are the three related sites.

  1. Levitated | the Exploration of Computation – http://levitated.net
  2. Gallery of Computation – http://complexification.net/
  3. Processing web site – http://processing.org

I’ve not linked the Processing site, as it was giving me a timeout. Perhaps a network hiccup, or load on their server.

The basic crux of such portals to alternate thought streams is the empowering of people to better visualize information leading to better interpretation and decision making. However, the main purpose of these sites are to let people have fun while getting important work done.

We humans are creatures mainly driven by visual stimulii. We evolved that way, we were not born with language and the ability to express complex and non-tangible thoughts. We sill need that stimulation of our visual cortex. It makes understanding so much easier. We can absorb volumes of information in a very short time when we leverage our ability to grasp things, ideas, concepts through visualization.

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Show me the Meaning

Today I checked my email and discovered a forwarded chain mail. The email was prompting me into action against distractions which would sideline my dedication to my religion. I did agree with points raised in the email, however, I wanted to share more of my thoughts on the subject of music and entertainment.Should we sing songs of other religions? Should we sing songs praising other peoples gods?

The email explained that some songs coming out of India are actually Hindu songs that celebrate Hindu gods. And we as Muslims should not sing songs that celebrate other peoples religions. We as Muslims have by nature of our religion other more important responsibilities.

My thoughts were…

What is your opinion on this? Is it limited to Hindu songs, there is a difference between Hindu and Indian songs, Hindu Songs are religious in nature. Just like Christan songs are religious in nature.

Question, I stop listening to Hindu songs, but as my Urdu is not that great, and my Hindi is totally non-existent, would it not be better if I just stopped listening to Indian songs all together? You know, just to be on the safe side. On the other hand, I have the songs sung in the West by a plethora of bands, whose songs should I listen to? Should I listen to Pakistani bands? Should I listen to orchestra, the classics like Beethoven, Vivaldi and that generation?

I personally do not prefer Indian songs, and a small percentage of Pakistani songs I find that I can say I like. However, that said, the thing about music is that, it’s almost hypnotic, it wants you to sing along. It’s got a good beat, it’s got a nice rhythm.

My opinion on music is that it should have a meaning, it should be talking about things larger and perhaps more important than the plethora of gods, “Ishq” and other such subjects. Songs originated from a need to preserve cultural and social history. They were used for remembrance and they were also a mode of instruction. The slaves used to sing songs to keep their hopes up, Revolutionaries spread their message through similes and metaphors to the young masses. Songs were also sung in honor of our dear departed, this included relatives as well as national heroes.

Where have these songs gone? I am interested in these songs?

What of Poetry? Now that is a classical mode of talking about real social issues and problems.

Where has the meaning gone? Are there no longer poets who have something important to say? Are there no longer people who believe that freedom is a responsibility and feel the need to spread the word? Or is it because there is no profit in such messages? Are the people really more interested in the razzle-dazzle of “acceptable erotica” — men and women grinding themselves against each other to mind numbing beats?

It is perhaps just easy to lose oneself in the shallow entertainment because the challenge otherwise is to stand up completely alone against the status quo.