There’s something at MIT, wouldn’t you know it, called the Aesthetics + Computation Group, whose aim is “the design of advanced system architectures and thought processes to enable the creation of (as yet) unimaginable forms and spaces.” Two thoughts. First, can somebody tell me where this annoying ‘+’ for ‘and’ thing started? Second, isn’t it interesting that to imagine something we have to first have a language to imagine it in? Kind of like before there could be Funk, James Brown had to invent the Funk vernacular, or like this New Yorker article on the Pirahã from a while ago.

One of the languages that the Group has created is Processing, “an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation and interactions.” Basically, Processing is a non-proprietary tool that computer programmers and visual artists can use to create things that they couldn’t previously. There are a lot of great examples of Processing’s potential on their exhibitions page — Josh has previously covered the use of Processing at Flight 404, and I particularly enjoyed this little gem, which is fairly mesmerizing and looks to me like the rapid construction of some very gnarled muscles. Also check out the Muon Launch, Grass and Circle Packing pages. This stuff will keep you entertained for quite awhile, and true to its origins, probably leave you grasping for words to describe it.

–Dan Steckenberg