MAZE APP (prototype)
‘space’ to pause
‘s’ saves image
‘a’ saves svg
‘n’ new edition
Benjamin Aranda, Jesse Bassett, Joaquin Bonifaz, Chris Lasch, Alice Wilsey
Coded by Jesse Bassett & Chris Lasch
Optimized for chrome
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Maze is a work that finds loops in the endlessly forking paths of space. One cycle leads to the next creating a chain of space to get lost in. Using the Depth First algorithm, a classic technique in maze solving, lines are drawn and find their way back to their origin, linking with other lines along the way. The result is a network of loops, or a maze of mazes.
PART LINE / PART ATMOSPHERE
Mazes are spaces to get lost in but their history demonstrates that this simple premise is just a foil for a vast range of spatial contemplations. Most obviously, mazes seem to be the direct result of geometric thinking to yield a path. But this pedestrian explanation cannot account for its persistence over the centuries. Mazes pop up over millennia and across cultures, in ways that can be lyrical and profound; the Minotaur locked in Daedalus’ maze from Greek mythology, the Man in the Maze origin story of the native Tohono O’odham people, the 12th century labyrinth in the Chartres cathedral. The hallmark of a maze is how it remains part landscape and part building, or more broadly, part line and atmosphere all at once. The maze is a proto-architecture, it makes a spatial promise while it searches and solves a problem.
The maze also teaches us that underscoring the bare rationality of turning corners and making circuits is actually something quite profound. The maze is a contemplative stepping-stone to the more allegorical, spiritual, and irrational themes impregnating space. Within its geometric rhythms and resulting atmosphere of lines, the human mind finds a way of getting lost and it is precisely in this state of getting lost that deeper and more resonant connections are made.
The lattice, the loops, and the colors describe the basic elements of the Maze design:
The Maze color palette comes from the Arizona sky where we live. Its awesome beauty, the way the desert plays with the light, and how the rain brings nourishment and shelter have all made the Sonoran Desert skies a consistent source of inspiration for us. The color palettes are determined through a process that mixes machine learning and intuitive hand picking. Each palette contains seven colors selected from a generated image of the Arizona sky. The image is produced by an ML algorithm trained on a database of photographs collected from local social media.
The lattice is created with space-filling truncated octahedrons. Circles are inscribed on each face, creating a continuous network at each intersection.
THREE DIMENSIONAL LOOPS
Cycles within the lattice are found with the depth first search algorithm, creating collections of loops made up from modulated arcs. With criteria for length, starting position, planarity, and speed different behaviors animate the drawing over time. Tightly controlled through geometric logics, its appearance as a drawing seems two dimensional, by rotating the Maze its three-dimensional form is revealed.
An ongoing fascination in the studio is the pursuit of orders that are rigorously modular but wild — almost out of order. Maze presents another opportunity to explore this frontier of order and disequilibrium. Here are a series of outputs:
HISTORY IS GENERATIVE
Maze is an example of using contemporary generative media to look back at history and shows that the even oldest human narratives can form around algorithmic thought. We are interested in exposing the continuities this generative space has with the past. Through projects like Maze we hope to reveal the debt we owe not just to technology but importantly to a collective and shared intelligence that runs across many generations and cultures.