Aesthetic Engine Turns Data Into Art

Aesthetic Engine Turns Data Into Art

A project that visualizes the hidden complexity behind our everyday web browsing.

Here’s something delicious for you! Take a look at Aesthetic Engine 2 which is simultaneously a web browser, a generative data sculpture, and a shape-shifting painting. The project is an application which is said to encode an alternative interpretation of web data, and implement an opinionated, artistic rendering of it. Basically, the thing visualizes the hidden complexity behind our everyday web browsing. 

Check out a presentation by Vladimir Mitrovic below to learn more about the project:

Each web page is rendered using predefined rules for different groups of HTML tags. The content which is visible to users in conventional web browsers (paragraphs, images, etc) is rendered using the thickest shapes. Scaffolding around visible content – all of the “invisible” internal stuff – is rendered using thinner strands escaping from the middle of the structure. Javascript code, CSS files, and all other externally loaded resources are rendered as twisting lines wrapping themselves around the structure. Lastly, the web page’s code is scraped for all outgoing links (URLs) and each of them is rendered as a long line escaping from the structure outward, therefore visualizing the “connectedness” of the page.

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Browsing is guided – at startup, one of two predefined websites is loaded. When a user decides to go to the next page (by pressing Space or Enter), she is taken to a web page whose URL was chosen at random from all of the URLs scraped from the current web page. That way, she is slowly “crawling the web”. There is no going back.

Aesthetic Engine 2 

There is a thorough breakdown of the process of making it here. AE2 is open-source and available for download on GitHub.

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Comments 1

  • cubear

    Bravo Dovla! :)

    0

    cubear

    ·2 years ago·

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