Wednesday, June 26, 2019

turtle art: beautiful maths

You might be interested in Turtle Art. The underlying idea is to turn maths into an art form. A turtle is programmed to move around the screen drawing lines or dots of different thickness, colour and shade. It is fairly amazing how beautiful the end products can look. I plan to use it to get kids more engaged with numbers, that numbers can be used to produce art as well as their other uses.

There is a gallery here showing what can be done:

I've been studying the code behind some of the pictures and think I now have a good understanding of how many of the effects can be achieved.

Initially, my idea was that some aboriginal art could be imitated using Turtle Art, eg. dot paintings. Possibly this could be done. But I'm thinking more now that Turtle Art is just an art form in it's own right, with its own characteristics (some things are easy to do, some things harder to do in this form). It's also possible that some or many aboriginal people may not want their art imitated in digital form. I don't really know.
Turtle Art has been developed by Brian Silverman and Artemis Papert. For more information about the sort of software that Brian Silverman has been producing go to the Playful Invention Company Project page

Turtle, Art, Turtle Art by Paula Bonta, Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman (2010)

Turtle Art Software by Gary Stager
This article contains a link to Gary's Turtle Art cards which I found extremely useful. Thanks, Gary!

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