Pollock Patterns

“I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk round it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting” — Jackson Pollock

Pollock Patterns is a fusion of exploratory data visualizations based on realtime location-aware computing and the aesthetics of Abstract Expressionism. The application was developed in C++ using openFrameworks, OpenCV, and liberal use of OpenGL’s Framebuffer Object system. The program reads data directly from a TCP stream and converts it into X,Y coordinates for UWB tags. Each located instance becomes a paint emitter source as it traverses both the physical space and the simultaneously indexed world of the virtual canvas. A physics-based fluid dynamics system determines the rate of flow, viscosity, and surface tension of each paint emitter, resulting in thin, stringy lines as a brush moves quickly, or pools and spatters as a brush slows or changes direction suddenly. Filter operations on the framebuffer, such as blurs and other convolutions, add to the verisimilitude of liquid paint being drizzled across the canvas. Pixel operations are calculated in the GPU, allowing large numbers of tags and effects to be rendered at a reasonable frame rate.