Across Time and Space, Tracing the Evolution of Western Dance Music: Data Visualization

Even from the birds-eye view of larger genres, the interrelations and ongoing transformation of music is dynamic, complex, and inter-connected. That’s the view in The Evolution of Western Dance Music, a map of musical styles in five-year chunks across the 19th and 20th Centuries, through Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. The project is the work of London/Seattle/New York Web agency Distilled, pulling genre births from Bass Culture, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life,The All Music Guide to Electronica, and Wikipedia. Having just edited a book entitled The Evolution of Electronic Dance Music, I find it extremely interesting to …


Evolving Virtual Creatures as 3D Blocks: SIGGRAPH, 1994

As digital media matures, you come to the awareness that real artistry and technique, not just newness, is what matters. So, look back just a few years to SIGGRAPH in 1994 for this extraordinary video by Karl Sims. (That’s not, like, a SIGGRAPH stage name, is it?) The work involves simple physics and 3D geometry, the likes of which will now happily run on your higher-end mobile phone. But there’s some great creativity here, and because of the real-time nature and easier coding of such things, it can become a performance tool. This narrated computer animation shows results from a …