The Beauty of Code
With Bruce Sterling

January 4, 2013 | Marina Galperina

Fractals are only still exciting if you’re a stoned teenager, says Bruce Sterling — cyberpunk hero, sci-fi novelist and active new media commentator. Watch his digital image spike with garish clashes of color as he explains that what you found “mind-blowing and psychedelic” back in the day — because it’s “spiky” with “garish clashes of color” — has really moved on from you. It’s just code. And yet, generative art is beautiful and so is its “profound elemental activity” like that of “the microbial world.”

Bruce Sterling is just one of the subjects of CLOUDS, an open source creative coding documentary-in-progress (Pssst: Kickstarter) by Brooklyn’s own James George and Jonathan Minard. We’re in love with it. Created with the RGBDToolKit — a hacked Kinect depth sensor and a DSLR camera — the film’s visuals consist entirely from pixels in 3D space. You won’t watch it passively either. CLOUDS is interactive. You will be navigating the talking heads and complimentary visualizations organically, clicking your way through tangents, swerving off from one narrative to the other depending on what interests you. Hence… CLOUDS. 

There’s a great new interview in Hyperallergic by Kyle Chayka.


Oh, look, they’re on PBS too…