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Jonathan McCabe's "HivaPolyFlowPi C"

A series of moving artworks inspired by a pioneering scientist and mathematician
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Published

Jun 11, 2019

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Jonathan McCabe

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Last week marked the 65th anniversary of the death of one of the 20th century’s most innovative and influential thinkers. Alan Turing is recognized as the father of modern computing. He was the man who cracked the Enigma code, which helped the Allies win World War II, and who also developed the “Turing Test”—a literal test to see if a computer can pass as a human and the foundation of the philosophy of artificial intelligence.

But Turing died a criminal. He was convicted, under arcane British laws, for being homosexual and forced to submit to chemical castration. It was only in 2009 that the UK government apologized for his treatment, it took until 2013 for him to receive a royal pardon, and The New York Times published an obituary only last week (in recognition of its failure to do so in 1954).

This week, in Turing’s honor, my Meural Canvas has been showing the mesmerizing, richly colored moving artworks of digital artist Jonathan McCabe. The HivaPolyFlow series is inspired by the “Turing patterns” that develop on Emperor Angelfish—so-called because of Turing’s seminal theory about how biological patterns form (from the feathers of a bird to the ridges on the roof of our mouths).

How apt that these kaleidoscopic generative pieces were created in conjunction with a computer—the product of an algorithm that processes and transforms McCabe’s initial inputs. And how perfectly appropriate, too, that they are so full of the rainbow hues that are central to the Pride movement—the history and accomplishments of which we celebrate this month.

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Jonathan McCabe: HivaPolyFlowPi C

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