With the rise od the trend of video games including toolsets for customization of themselves, the users started creating more and more each day. First it was levels with (eg: Duke Nukem 3D level builder) with the packaged textures and level editor, now it is whole new game modes, characters and even “complete make-over”s – entirely new games.

As the use of such tools got easier and documentation got bigger and denser, the games became more of a creative outlet for people with ideas. It takes no more than the game’s cost to make a feature machinima movie. Using the game’s engine and editing tookit,one can make, in theory a feature film using the existing art and animation in the game’s package.

Two exampels of such machinima works, adaptations of H.P.Lovecraft’s stories – one has won an award in a Lovecraft convention.

Music of Erich Zann

The Terrible Old Man


more of this post is on the way.

Art Nouveau in Architecture

Art Nouveau, defined as the first movement that led to architectural art, started around the 1890’s.  Flowing, organic lines, fluent structures, references to nature and natural formations are a signature of art nouveau works of art & craft.

Architectural art such as floral decoration on facades, balcony decorations, railings are significant in art nouveau architectural examples.

Sagrada Familia by Gaudi (still being built).

by Gaudi

“Valida Paşa Yalısı” is a beautiful example of such architecture.Build by D’Aronco in 1902, the building is now abandoned.

Art Deco in Bioshock




Bioshock takes place in the 60’s, in an alternate reality where the payer gets to explore the underwater city Rapture. Questions of values and morality arise.

“Rapture was envisioned by the Randian business magnate Andrew Ryan, who wanted to create a laissez-faire state to escape increasingly oppressive political, economic, and religious authority on land. The city was secretly built in 1946 on a mid-Atlantic seabed, utilizing submarine volcanoes to provide geothermal power.[37] Scientific progress flourished in Rapture, leading to rapid developments in engineering and biotechnology thanks in part to the brilliant scientists that Ryan brought to the city. One such advancement was ADAM, stem cellsharvested from a previously unknown species of sea slug, which were discovered by Dr. Bridgette Tenenbaum to have the ability to regenerate damaged tissue and rewrite the human genome. Tenenbaum joined with businessman and mobster Frank Fontaine to create the plasmid industry, which offered superhuman physical enhancements to its customers. Tenenbaum found that ADAM could be mass-produced by implanting the slugs in the stomachs of young girls (“Little Sisters”), taken from orphanages founded by Fontaine.

As time passed, the gap between rich and poor increased. Frank Fontaine established charity organizations to support the underclass. His motives were far from altruistic; his ultimate goal was to use his charity organizations to manipulate the underclass. He also established a smuggling operation to supply citizens with forbidden items from the surface, such as religious material. These, along with his control of the plasmid industry, made him immensely powerful. He tried to overthrow Ryan, but the revolt was violently crushed and Fontaine was reportedly killed. Ryan seized control of Fontaine’s plasmid business. Within a few months, a new figure named Atlas rose as the leader of the disgruntled lower class. On New Year’s Eve of 1959, Atlas and his ADAM-infused followers began a new revolt against Ryan that spread throughout Rapture.[38] Ryan in turn began splicing his own forces, and his paranoia had reached such a level he was hanging dozens of people, mostly innocent, in Rapture’s main square. In order to solve ADAM shortages, the Little Sisters were mentally conditioned to wander the city and extract ADAM from the dead, recycling it into raw ADAM in their stomachs after swallowing it. “Big Daddies”, enhanced and mentally sterilized humans in armored diving suits, were created by Dr. Suchong, the scientist behind many plasmids, to protect the Little Sisters in their work.[34]

A drawback of ADAM is that a user must take regular infusions or suffer mental and physical degeneration. As the war disrupted production and supply, every ADAM user in the city eventually went violently insane. By the time the player arrives, only a handful of non-mutated humans survive in barricaded hideouts.[39](from HERE)


Heavily decorated city of Rapture is the perfect setting for the dystopian story the game presents. Long tunnels opening up to great halls, tall buildings, big windows, gigantic sculptures representing the power and the authority and the cameras (alternate reality – tthe game’s universe has advanced technology but the visual style of such devices are art-deco, art-nouveau and somewhat steampunk) that follow wherever the player goes and the monitors where the villain speaks to the player and taunt/inform/tease make up for a great dystopian athmosphere.

The Environment has it’s own narrative here, knocked over vending machines tell of vandalism and riots, looting. Writings in blood show of violent ends, cracked glass underwater tunnels tell of fights/control.

The interactive props like casettes, journals and notebooks further delve into the story for interested parties.

narrative is enhanced by the architecture, the player

Golden Ratio and Layout









Golden ratio is traced back to ancient greece, to Pythagorean schools of thought and mathematics just like Euclidean geometry. Philosphers and mathematicians, men of natural sciences has observed this ratio in natural occurances and formations so often that the broke it down and used it in their own assemblies. The ratio is still being used in many disciplines in many ways.

“Some of the greatest mathematical minds of all ages, from Pythagoras and Euclid in ancient Greece, through the medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa and the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler, to present-day scientific figures such as Oxford physicist Roger Penrose, have spent endless hours over this simple ratio and its properties. But the fascination with the Golden Ratio is not confined just to mathematicians. Biologists, artists, musicians, historians, architects, psychologists, and even mystics have pondered and debated the basis of its ubiquity and appeal. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics”


Golden ratio has been used in visual arts for ages; a golden rectangle is, a square and a rectangle which has a square and a rectangle, which has a square and a…recursive. It is the projection of the seashell spiral on a rectangle bounding box. It is used in architecture including Parthenon, medieval book designs according to Jan Tschichold, painting and sculpture and industrial design and music.









The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Dali, uses the golden rectangle extensively. Even the canvas is sized on 16:10 ratio.

…and here’s phi, the golden ratio equation. which is also the new widescreen format, 16:10 and 16:9.

math fun


Found this sketch of Albrecht Duerer on Citrinitas and I had to do it. It was obvious that there was some trigonemetry involved, especially in the left hand side. The one with the circles look like a sine wave, oscillating on the vertical axis. from what I gather,

-each step the cos(angle) gets incremented.

-circle’s horizontal positions are cos(anle).

-since cos(x) goes from -1 to 1, we get the wave plotted.

for(var j:Number = 0;j<=600;j++){

var dot:Sprite = new Sprite();,0×000000,1);,0,4);



addChild(dot); angle+=   j/20; trace(600-j);



Above is the AS3.0 code of the algorithm. Also, Flash you need to convert degrees to radians.

Bestiarum Vocabulum//Beast Compendium//Monstrous Manual

Bestiaries are volumes of animal and moythological beast illustrations and texts that support the illustrations as well as give informaiton on the said beast. It is, like illuminated manuscripts, believed to be made by more than one artist over long periods of time, even in different geographies later to be compiled as a volume. The oldest bestiary is dated back ro 2nd century (Alexandria), Physiologus.

Physiologus features the Allegoric story of dead lion cubs ressurecting with the old lion’s breath and of the phonix that burnes down, only to be ressurected agian on the third day of it’s death (both reference Christ, vice versa – further information is here in this awesome book by Joseph Campbell)

These volumes carry vital survival information as well as myths. How to defend against a wolf, what to do against a lion, how to hide from something, hide to hunt another thing etc. Here’s a par from a bestiary about wolves:

“If a wolf sees a man before the man sees the wolf, the man will lose his voice. If the man sees the wolf first, the wolf can no longer be fierce. If a man loses his voice because the wolf saw him first, he should take off all his clothes and bang two rocks together, which will keep the wolf from attacking.”

This possibly infroms the reader tha tthe wolf would attack the throat of it’s victim first so if the wolf was not seen before the attack, screaming for help during the brawl would not be possible. Also if the wolf is seen first, it can be scared off by loud noises, like banging of rocks.

Aberdeen Bestiary is still preserved to this day and is the most popular among the ones that still exists. It is dated back to 1200 (England) and is available online here

apes from the Aberdeen Bestiary

wolves from the Aberdeen Bestiary

four magpies and a hunter trying to shoot thems

Most animals are not depicted alone, without a spatial clues. birds sit on trees, apes carry their young, wolves attack the sheep while the shepard naps. There is an obvious narrative here, projecting characteristics and stories to te animals/beasts portrayed.

Hereis one scene with written narrative from the researches:

“The horseman has stolen a cub and has been pursued by the tiger. The thief can stop the tiger by a trick: he throws down a glass sphere and the tiger, seeing its own reflection, stops to nurse the sphere like a cub. She ends by losing both her revenge and her child.”(source)

Alphabets and Synesthesia

Studies show that the development of lanuages and pronunciation is heavily dependant on the geographical area they are being used. People living in rougher climates tend to develop accents or languages that are harsher where people living in milder conditions develop softer languages. This can be observed clearer in different areas of the same geography like different accents of a language.

We can see how the Bouba/Kiki effect works in sound-to-shape and shape-to-sound synesthesia clearly (with 90% consistency).

Kiki and Booba

“Ramachandran and Hubbard[3] suggest that the kiki/bouba effect has implications for the evolution of language, because it suggests that the naming of objects is not completely arbitrary. The rounded shape may most commonly be named “bouba” because the mouth makes a more rounded shape to produce that sound while a more taut, angular mouth shape is needed to make the sound “kiki”. The sounds of a K are harder and more forceful than those of a B, as well. The presence of these “synesthesia-like mappings” suggest that this effect might be the neurological basis for sound symbolism, in which sounds are non-arbitrarily mapped to objects and events in the world.” (source)

So, we can assume that creating the glyphs and characters for alphabets people did map sounds-to-shapes. This would result in pointy “K”s and soft, fluffy “O”s.

Phoenician K

In middle eastern and far eastern alphabets(Hebrew, Arabic) we see fluid usually single brushstrokes where in Cyrillic alphabet(s) we see seperate letters which are formed from lines mostly. Thus, we can assume that there is a direct relation to an alphabet with it’s origin’s geographical and climatic features.

Cyrillic Zhe


Cave paintings and Sympathetic Magic

While we can often see depictions of large animals with fine detail in rock paintings, we seldom see a representation of realistically proportioned humans. Study suggests that the religion at that time, whatever it was, forbid people from painting realistic humans. I guess this would be one of the earliest examples of religious censorship on art. It is believed that the people employed shamans before hunts to either act out the upcoming events while in a trance or paint them on the cave walls. During this “drama” the shaman is believed to be in another plane, the spirit world.

The reason for the shamans to paint said paintings are still being discussed – one group believes it was a narrative on what really happened around them while another group believe the paintings are meant to be prayers. I side with the group who believes they were wishful portrayals they wanted and/or needed to be realized. This would explain the large animals in most of the paintings rather than small animals that would not feed the entire family/tribe. This sort of belief is similar to sympathetic magic:

“Sympathetic magic is based on the metaphysical belief that like affects like. Sympathetic magic is the basis for most forms of divination. The lines, shapes and patterns in entrails, stars, thrown dirt, folded paper, the palm of the hand (the longer the lifeline, the longer the life), etc., are believed to be magically connected to the empirical world–past, present and future. It is also the basis for such practices as sticking needles into figurines representing enemies, as is done in voodoo.” (

Similar practices still exist in Turkey  in the form of tradition instead of religion. During certain days, such as “Hidirellez” people draw and/or write their wishes on a piece of paper and either bury or tie them to trees in their yards (possibly, depending on the geographical area the practice might have adapted ie:if there are no trees, bury it.).

Such similarities can also be seen in Voodoo Dolls in popular culture which can be tracked backed to “poppet”s in folk magic. Actions taken on a voodoo doll is believed to affect the victim – whoever the doll represents.  I would also consider drinking “the blood of christ” to be cleansed of sins as sympathetic magic as well.

sympathetic magic

more on sympathetic magic

participation mystique