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Friends, today I would like to tell you about Jared Tarbell, the artist/programmer behind the stunning exhibits featured at Complexification | Gallery of Computation.

This man, this beacon of light in the otherwise poorly-illuminated field of computer programming, rips math from the daunting clutches of boredom, and infuses it with the spark of life, loveingly crafting it into art.

His work quickens the pulse, quivers the ribosomes, and releases endorphins of majestic quality.

His gift is to transform disturbingly dull equations like this one supplied by Peter De Jong:

xn+1 = sin(a yn) – cos(b xn)
yn+1 = sin(c xn) – cos(d yn)

Into breathtaking compositions like this:

complexification- dejong

Peter De Jong


His City Traveler series is a graphic representation of the simulated journeys taken by simulated inhabitants of similarly simulated cities, which unlike the non-simulated cities that we are familiar with, are themselves also in constant motion.1

This vertigous interaction of variables creates stunning works of beauty, allowing unassuming mortals to view complex systems in a fashion normally reserved for God.2

These are not just pictures, they are snapshots of ever-evolving systems. And if you like, you can even run an applet of the algorithm on your own personal computer (or private Mac, depending on your preference) to watch the equations work themselves out in a mathematical blizzard of silent beauty.

Summary: This site rocks.3

It receives the first ever Ken Houle Award for Scientifical Excellence.

An award named for my high school chemistry teacher Ken Houle - Long live Aloha High

Translation: “This is Six”

  1. Actually, as the more scientific and argumentative among us would point out, physical cities are also in constant motion, but we’re talking about art here, so anything imperceptible by human senses simply does not count.
  2. For any highly religious individuals who might be looking for something to protest, allow me remind you of Proverbs 25:2 which states that, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” Which makes Tarbell a king, and me his humble chronicler.
  3. If my wife is reading this, let me casually mention that prints of these works are available for sale and, as a strange coincidence, my birthday is also on the way. Hmmmm.