Decision Fields : Embodied Algorithms

What began as a project to produce hand printed textiles became multi-year research into a visual tool / process / system for using pattern formation to mark decisions. The research has distinct chapters, as it has distinct incarnations [1] : artisan business, craft that produces paintings, and, now, a reach toward something mathematical.

In process and intention, the textile patterns from Dym | california textiles don't emerge from a designer intending them to be lyrical or interesting. Instead, they mark the translation of myriad decisions onto a surface which forms a pattern field.


Through the actions of conscious agents, Decision Fields foster the emergence of infinitely variable patterns on a plane.


I'm currently figuring out how to describe this process formally, and if Decision Fields has uses beyond aesthetic appeal. With neither judgement nor resistance, Decisions Fields encodes each agent's decisions as traceable marks on a surface. It incorporates agent error, directional recalibrations, and unruly actions. [2]



Reading math papers


A friend sends me math papers that he connects to how I describe what happens with the patterns. One about "signal machines" [3] and another about "tangle machines" resonated with me. The abstract and some of the signal machine diagrams, though dealing with 1-dimensional space, seem related to my process—if my process were no longer run by human "agents," but instead by robots responding to or working with information. Weird to me how much I enjoy reading the papers, at least the parts written in English.


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[1] It's had other names, including Infinite Stripes and Embodied Algorithms. The former, Infinite Stripes, referred originally to a collection of textiles and then became a way to think about the odd idea of using segments to create a potentially endless stripe; the latter, Embodied Algorithms, became the name of the communication game / activity version.

[2] They can also be used as the communication game, Embodied Algorithms.

[3] Abstract Geometrical Computation 10: An Intrinsically Universal Family of Signal Machines, Becker et al. arXiv:1804.09018v2 [cs.FL] 21 Mar 2019