Category Archives: Weird

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

While Steve Reich is not directly related to generative art, I think he somehow fits the overall theme of this blog. Even though his minimalistic phrases phasing in and out of sync easily could be performed by a computer, for a human the rhythmic skills necessary to perform his compositions are beyond imagination.

‘Piano Phase’ was originally composed for two pianos (and two piano players). Here both parts are performed by Peter Aidu, a Russian composer and piano player.

Peter Aidu performing Piano Phase (YouTube)
High Quality recording of the above

Another (only vaguely related) keyboard video:
Sun Ra Keyboard Solo (1980)

Light synths

By coincidence I came across Jeff Minter’s company Llamasoft and surprisingly discovered that it was still going strong.

Jeff Minter, probably most famous for his somewhat… surreal C64 games (“Attack of the Mutant Camels”, “Revenge of the Mutant Camels” and even “Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time”), apparently has been hacking away on light synthesizers for the past twenty years.

His light synthesizers are complex visualization modules either music-controlled or driven by human interaction. And his latest incarnation, Neon, is actually used in the Xbox 360’s dashboard.

Neon Light Synthesizer

The Neon Light Synthesizer in Action.

Who would have guessed that Llamasoft code would end up in the Xbox 360 firmware?

Experimental Games

Experimental Gameplay started out as a student project at Carnegie Mellon University in 2005.

Given three basic rules (“Each game must be made in less than seven days / by only one person / be based around a central theme (e.g. gravity or swarms)”) some very interesting projects were created. Since then the website has opened up, and everyone is allowed to post their experimental games.

The experiences gained from the project are summed up in: How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days (Gamasutra Feature).

The Crowd

The Crowd. Actually not a game, but beautiful none-the-less.

On a Rainy Day

On a Rainy Day. Surreal.

Tower of Goo

Tower of Goo. Great gameplay

Modern Wonders

Dark Roasted Blend is a daily updated photo blog with “weird and wonderful things”. And yes, some of them really are. This blog entry is a highlight of some of my favorite sights.

Tokyo Storm Water System

Tokyo Storm Water System

Tokyo Storm Water System. (from this entry)

Located below Tokyo and looking like something straight out of Total Recall, these cathedral-like caverns are built as buffers to prevent flooding during heavy rain and typhoon seasons.
Be sure to check out the original photos as well.

Dubai Architecture

Dubai has a lot of fascinating architecture. Their artificial islands are some of the more prominent. They can also be found on Google Maps.

Dubai artificial islands

Dubai artificial islands. (from this entry)

Mega Machines and Big Structures

Almost a trademark of Dark Roasted Blend. A few selected entries:
Creepy High Voltage Installations
Alternative Energy Super Projects
Ultimate Moving Experience II
The Biggest and Hungriest Machines
Even Bigger Machines Dig Bigger Holes

NASA Space Shuttle Transport Platform

NASA Space Shuttle transport Platform. (from this entry)

Russian High Voltage Pulse Generator

Russian High Voltage Pulse Generator. (from this entry)

Solar Thermal Power Plants

Solar Thermal Power Plants. (from this entry)

Krupps Excavator 288

Krupps Excavator 288. (from this entry)

Now that is one mean machine. Can’t help thinking of Naked Lunch: “I use a Krupps Dominator myself. Company policy.