Accidental mandala

This morning I was working on an algorithm for being able to write text quickly by drawing with a VR/XR controller without needing to look at the controller. Technically this is called “eyes free” writing, because when you don’t need to look at what you are doing with the controller, your eyes are then freed up for other tasks.

One part of the process was visualizing all of the different types of strokes a user could draw. In order to make it easier to distinguish different types of strokes, I gave each type of stroke a different color.

I left the lab late in the afternoon to speak at a panel at the Games for Change Conference called Virtual Art in the Real World. We talked about many things, including artistic process and the complex relationship between the real and the virtual.

When I returned to the lab in the early evening I opened up my notebook computer and was fascinated to see a beautiful mandala staring out at me. It was just the diagram I had programmed earlier in the day, only now I was seeing it with fresh eyes.

There is so much beauty all around us, yet much of it remains unseen. How often do we create things of wonder and grace, without ever quite being aware that we have done so?

Ken Perlin
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