Chaotic tools

In an intriguing article in Wired about the new Darren Aronofsky film The Fountain, I spotted this nice quote from the chap responsible for the (non computer generated) effects:

“The CGI guys have ultimate control over everything they do,” Parks says. “They can repeat shots over and over and get everything to end up exactly where they want it. But they’re forever seeking the ability to randomize, so that they’re not limited by their imaginations. I’m incapable of faithfully repeating anything, but I can go on producing chaos until the cows come home.”

So much of the creative software I use gets it’s most impressive use from people that have found ways to misuse features intended for something else. From Kai Krause’s abuse of early versions of Photoshop to get chrome’s and liquids to the way drum and bass depended developed out of the use of audio editing tools (meant for fine tuning recordings) to create an entirely new way of writing rhythm parts.

It’s often the most automated, algorithmic tools provided by software that enables an artist to layer complexity on complexity often to the point where the results are as surprising to the person using the tool as it is to their audience…