Random Device


I had some extravagant plans for finding a location randomly for this first project, but a combination of painful leg injuries and obscene laziness took me in an entirely digital direction instead...

The layers of information held in digital imagery repositories is pretty staggering and ripe for all kinds of reinterpretation, so off I went to the Flickr Creative Commons collection. The page randomly generates nine images from the collection, so I took the first of these...

flickrCommons.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/commons/


The image I was given is called Tubular Bridge or Terror Bridge? and is from the National Library of Ireland collection. The image is circa 1910, but with much input from other users, there is still quite a lot of interesting metadata connected to the image, including exact map location, local area information and even a Wikipedia entry on the engineer responsible for the bridge in the image, Berkeley Dean Wise...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/7682665974/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/7682665974/


I decided to try and get a little more random with the image, so instead of using the entire photo, I created a simple MaxMSP patch that would select a portion of the image, based on random number generation. The image below shows the MaxMSP patch, with a red rectangle outlining the selected area (the patch scales the coordinates to work with a smaller image)...

locationGenerator.jpg
MaxMSP patch


Anyone using MaxMSP can download the patch code here. Finally, this is the resulting image...

croppedImage.jpg
Image cropped to coordinates from above MaxMSP patch


Nerdariffic.