A Fibrous Story

Reimaging the Data of an Image

Edith Xu
MAUD 2023
Sara Park
MAUD 2023
Jonathan Cook
MLAUD 2023
1 The resulting carpet generated from “Andy Warhol: an Original” by Rita Hisar, 2020.

Inspired by silkscreen printing, we are interested in exploring the unseen information generated through the layering of colors in an image. This implies a process of revealing hidden elements of "more" under the appearance of "less."

A painting is a compilation of diverse actions that results in a two-dimensional surface, but by unraveling its underlying characteristics, we can visualize a change of depth and color. This can represent fibers with varying lengths and thicknesses overlaying a surface. We can also transpose color in a process like silkscreen printing to represent layers of a three-dimensional space.

First, a topography of the surface is generated from the brightness of color pixels from the image – the brighter the value, the lower its elevation, while the darker the value, the higher its elevation. This surface then forms vectors perpendicular to its undulating character, determining the angle of fibers to extend from each point. While the thickness of hairs growing out of the undulating surface is determined by the brightness of the value, their length is an inverse of its brightness.

Project video
2 One of the failed generative attempts.
3 An alt. from “No. 5/ No. 24” by Mark Rothko, 1948.
4 A future goal of generating a 3D structure from the same image.