Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Generative Creativity Redux: Color Science

The girls have a pair of orange tights that I can never figure out what to do with; for the most part, they only get used as part of the Velma Dinkley costume. Today I got in the mood for colored tights, and decided to pull them out.

Frustration ensued rapidly as combination after combination was dismissed. Then in a flash of inspiration, I got the idea to use a web site color scheme generator. Tools like these are designed to provide complementary color sets for layout and design jockeys that will be pleasing to the eye. After figuring out the hexadecimal code for the tights' specific shade of orange, I used the resultant palette as a guide for choosing pieces to go with them:

I was quite proud of the results, and eagerly shared them with a friend who is into fashion. She pointed me to a similar site, which after a very brief search turned up an almost identical palette to the one I'd used.

This sort of thing could really aid the fashion-impaired. A lot of people are afraid to try and match clothes because they don't feel competent at putting together pieces into a single outfit. By leaving the task up to the basic mathematical formulas of trichromacy, you can end up with really neat-looking combinations that will always look fresh. It would also be quite helpful for grassroots fashion designing sites like Spreadshirt, to ensure that your inks always match your fabrics. I believe I will be examining these and other related concepts in the near future.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Deejay is a Necromancer

The sound is alive. Rhythms jump from speaker to speaker, ping-ponging back and forth in the stereo image; sweeping drones surround the space with a thick alpaca wool blanket of ambiance. All systems of alchemy are expressed through three elements: physical matter, kinetic motion, and transmission of information (Paracelsus called it the Tria Prima). The vinyl record releases the encoded information into the physical bodies of the dancers, and biological systems synchronize to the analog time signature like drum machines slaved to a MIDI clock, powered by the feed of electric energy transformed to beats and melodies. Music is magic. Music is life.

Silence is death; there's a reason why radio jockeys call it "dead air". The signal dissolves to static; no information is sent, no direction is received. Separated from their commanding groove, the dancers flail, unsure and confused, falling dead to the sides of the club. Scramble, shuffle, get the next record on -- just get anything on. Forget about the slipmat. Nevermind the beat-matching. Genre is irrelevant; the sound must go on.

The new power source is incompatible. The dancers are yet unsure, assimilated to the previous tempo and tone color; they try to match the new dynamic, but it fights them, forces them into new shapes and motions. Minions are you, says the change, zombies and vampires, beholden to the flesh and blood I allow you to feed on for survival. You will be what I tell you to be; you willingly surrendered your rights to identity the moment you stepped into this domain of undeath.

Move! Like marionettes, like machines, the dancers translate the information into stilted, sweeping gestures. No more are they resolved to the concerns of the living; only the music matters. Everything must be sacrificed to the almighty god of rhythm. Dead bodies swarm the floor, animated by the precise application of needles to surfaces in the grand tradition of hypodermic injection. Doctor Frankenstein would stand in awe.

The selector looks up from the booth and smiles. His spell has worked; his army of hollow statues, meticulously aligned to one another like miniature cogs in a stopwatch, pulsates with the dynamic of a beating heart. He crossfades to the next track, never letting the seams in his surgical techniques show. The mix will never end; the dancer will never die. Noel Coward finally has his answer: the show must go on because the show is all that there is.