Radiolaria Studies

I was introduced to the work of Haeckel (Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel, to be precise) while attending RISD 10 years ago.

I became quite fond of his work because I had been exploring similar (looking) ideas with my own work. I was fascinated by Platonic solids and would sketch them in my journal to kill time during art history lectures. I was drawn in by the challenge of trying to reproduce such regular forms using no rulers or measurements. I didn't realize it at the time, but figuring out how to draw those solids ended up being a nice little primer to learning trig later in life.

However, sketching these forms became more and more frustrating because I had to draw them head on with no rotation. My mind couldn't make sense of it any other way. This created some really sterile illustrations. I liked the results, but they felt very flat.
Recently, while tweaking the magnetic structure code and the corresponding particle systems involved, I figured out how to gain a bit more control. The original code had been about freedom. I allowed the particles to move about and they pretty much got to do what they pleased. This new go around is about controlled restraint. I started to create multiple particle systems (instead of just one global one) and for each system, I am assigning it a small set of rules.

For example:

Big particles, you will slowly gain mass until you lock into place. You are capable of attracting small particles. Each of you must remain a fixed distance from the center of the world and must try to spread yourselves out as evenly as possible.

Small particles, you will repel each other while the big particles attract you. If you happen to collide with a big particle, you are now locked to that particle and must remain x_ paces from its center at all times. Oh, and you must also remain _y paces from the center of the world at all times.

From these simple rules, a large variety of different looks can be created by just randomizing a few variables. You can randomize the x_ and _y , the mass, the charge, and the inertia, to name a few.