Discover and create

Discover great ways to use and display activities. Become inspired to make your own creations.

Computation-Making art out of art

non-linear substrate 3001 inversed

Time: 1 hr
What you need:
-Access to a computer with Photoshop or similar
-Access to a printer
-Transparency sheets, printed with Computation images
-Super Sunprint paper
-Acrylic sheet
-Pan of water

Some things just make beautiful sunprints. Jared Tarbell is an artist who, as he describes it,
“write[s] computer programs to create graphic images. With an algorithmic goal in mind, I manipulate the work by finely crafting the semantics of each program. Specific results are pursued, although occasionally surprising discoveries are made.”

cubic attractor 0001

This sounds a lot like…what we do with Sunprints! And the fine lines of his work lend themselves to two-toned cyanotypes.  So I made prints of the computation images.  The results were striking. And as he says on his website, modifications of his work are encouraged. Be sure to check him out at

an orbital system far far away 1000

The process I used was very straightforward. I chose pieces out of his online gallery, and set the color to black and white. For a few, I increased the contrast, to make for a clearer print, and played around with inversing the images. I printed them out on transparencies, running it through the printer two or three times to get the image dark enough. Then I set it out to print on just like usual, with the transparency on the paper, acrylic on top to hold it down, and the whole unit on cardboard to keep it clean. Expose until bluish white (2-5 minutes, depending on cloud cover), soak for 45 seconds, and dry and develop and press under heavy books. And voila! A new take on an already stunning work of art. And if you know how to write computer programs, you can make your own computation patterns to print!

non-linear substrate 3001

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