linescape.cpp is a piece of software created for the CODeDOC project on the Whitney Museum’s Artport site. Twelve artists were commissioned by Christiane Paul to code a specific assignment—to ‘connect and move three points in space’. The main code was not to exceed 8KB. All the artists then exchanged works and commented on each other’s code. The goal of CODeDOC was to “take a reverse look at ‘software art’ projects by focusing on and comparing the ‘back end’ of the code that drives the artwork’s ‘front end.’”
linescape.cpp moves and connects 3 dots (as per the assignment), but each of the 3 dots moves along the perimeter of a different a rectangle. The 3 dots are connected in their current location by a translucent white triangle, and blue triangles connect the 3 dots in places they used to be. The traces of where the dots have been accumulate and fade over time. By clicking anywhere on the screen, a user can change the rectangles, and therefore the trajectories of the dots, and therefore the patterns created over time.
All motion implies time, and time and motion can create complexity out of very simple things. This is illustrated in linescape.cpp where a simple shape (a triangle) repeated over and over again, following another simple shape (a rectangle) creates a complicated network of lines. Through a simple set of rules, curves mysteriously emerge from the accumulation of straight lines. The layering begins to create foreground and background planes—recalling traditional, yet dynamically changing, landscapes.