Doros Polydorou: Poe’s Tree

 
  • ©, Doros Polydorou

Artist(s):


Title:


    Poe's Tree

Exhibition:


Category:



Artist Statement:


    Summary

    This project uses an old text from Edgar Alan Poe’s story “The Golden Bug” and re-imagines it into a 3d tree. The shape of the tree was generated by a syntax analysis of the text, which was later turned into an L-System code.

    Abstract

    This artwork is inspired by the short story “The Gold-Bug” by Edgar Alan Poe. The story follows William Legrand, his servant Jupiter and an unnamed narrator on their quest to uncover a buried treasure. Poe took advantage of the popularity of cryptography as he was writing the “The Gold-Bug” and his story revolves around the team trying to solve a cipher. The characters in the story follow a simple substitution cipher to decode a message that eventually leads them to the treasure.

    With this project, the aim was to re-encode the decrypted text into a digital form and turn it into a 3d tree. In order for this to be achieved, the following process was used:

      1. Using Chomky’s Context-Free-Grammar, the text was broken down into a syntax tree.
      2. By using a simple substitution process, like the one used by Poe, the syntax tree was turned into an L-systems syntax.
      3. The tree was then generated using the build-in L-Systems function in Houdini
      4. Maya was used to stylize, texture and render the 3d tree.

    The process (the text, the L-system code and the substitution cipher) will be submited as a additional materials.


Process Information:


    For this project, Doros wanted to experiment with a narrative text and digital generative processes. By breaking down the Poes’ text (through a linguistic analysis), transforming it (with the same method used by Poe in his story) and slowly putting it back together again (using L-systems, a “primitive AI” method), Doros was trying to re-shape and re-purpose art and create a new piece from a classic one.

    The result which came out of the L-system was interesting by itself, however it needed an aesthetic re-touch. The tree was remade in Maya (using the houdini export as a template) and it was then textured as a golden/chestnut tree. This symbolism points to the process of grafting (a gardening technique where tissues of plants are joined together) and to the treasure hunt theme of the original story. Through this process, Doros interfered with the digital fabrication of the tree by using the result of the L-system as a tool to guide the creation process and reach the artistic desired result.

    For this project, Doros wanted to experiment with a narrative text and digital generative processes. By breaking down the Poes’ text (through a linguistic analysis), transforming it (with the same method used by Poe in his story) and slowly putting it back together again (using L-systems, a “primitive AI” method), Doros was trying to re-shape and re-purpose art and create a new piece from a classic one.


Other Information:


    Inspiration Behind the Project

    This artwork is inspired by the short story “The Gold-Bug” by Edgar Alan Poe. The story follows William Legrand, his servant Jupiter and an unnamed narrator on their quest to uncover a buried treasure. Poe took advantage of the popularity of cryptography as he was writing the “The Gold-Bug” and his story revolves around the team trying to solve a cipher. The characters in the story follow a simple substitution cipher to decode a message that eventually leads them to the treasure.

    With this project, the aim was to re-encode the decrypted text into a digital form and turn it into a 3d tree. In order for this to be achieved, the following process was used:

      1. Using Chomky’s Context-Free-Grammar, the text was broken down into a syntax tree.
      2. By using a simple substitution process, like the one used by Poe, the syntax tree was turned into an L-systems syntax.
      3. The tree was then generated using the build-in L-Systems function in Houdini
      4. Maya was used to stylize, texture and render the 3d tree.