O-R-G

PublishersInventory PressO-R-G2020
This title will be available soon. A *New* Program for Graphic Design is a DIY textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental to convey advanced graphic design principles in an understandable form for students of all levels as well as general readers. Rooted in three courses (Typography, Gestalt, and Interface) originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book provides a broad introduction to graphic design and visual literacy, from Benjamin Franklin to Bruno Munari, Moholy-Nagy to Muriel Cooper and the Macintosh computer. Through a series of in-depth historical case studies and assignments that progressively build in complexity, the book ...
PublishersInventory PressO-R-G2020
This title will be available soon. A *Pre-* Program for Graphic Design is a video-based companion to A *New* Program for Graphic Design, a DIY textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental to convey advanced graphic design principles in an understandable form for students of all levels as well as general readers. Based on courses originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book was derived from a three-day lecture series held in Los Angeles, delivered to a live studio audience and video recorded. The result is a broad introduction to graphic design and visual literacy, covering a wide ...
PublisherO-R-G2009
Two signals of varying frequency and phase result in a perpetual infinity (figuratively and literally as it actually constructs itself in the shape of the infinity sign given the right starting values), drawing and redrawing itself over and over, a picture of timing and sequence in the center of the screen. The familiar resulting shapes are known as Lissajous curves after French mathematician Jules Antoine Lissajous and his “beautiful machine” of 1855. Devised to draw a picture of two superimposed systems falling into and out of phase, Lissajous’ machine was constructed of a pair of tuning forks placed facing at right ...
PublisherO-R-G2009
A recent Opinion piece from the New York Times (“Scorched Earth” by Robert L. Park) eulogized the political death of what had been derisively called “Al Gore’s Screensaver.” Since his vice presidency, Gore actively advocated The Trius Project — a satellite to be put into orbit around the Earth on a geosynchronous path (at position Lagrange 1) which would send back live images of both the whole Earth and the full Sun. This project was intended to feed a series of real-time displays, installed as screensavers on computers in U.S. public schools. Al Gore woke up one morning wondering if ...
PublisherO-R-G2009
The resulting flickering light repeats at a constant frequency between 8 and 13 Hz matching the brain’s alpha waves present in deep relaxation, such as drifting into sleep. When a viewer closes their eyes, sits close to the machine and the turntable is started, the flickering light induces waves of color and repeating geometric patterns that form and re-form in the mind’s eye. Ian Somerville described the experience in a letter to Gysin: Visions start with a kaleidoscope of colors on a plane in front of the eyes and gradually become more complex and beautiful, breaking like surf on a shore ...
PublisherO-R-G2015
Easily mistaken for the infinity sign, a circle, or any number of more complex pretzels and knots, the Lissajous figure is a picture of compound harmonic motion named for French physicist and mathematician Jules Antoine Lissajous (1822–1880). The shape is drawn by plotting a two-variable parametric equation as it iterates itself over time — the resulting figure is the picture of two systems falling into and out of phase. These two varying signals produce a perpetual infinity (figuratively and literally as it will actually construct itself in the shape of the infinity sign given the right initial values). Any figure may ...
PublisherO-R-G2015
Multi is a (very) simple application for making and sending faces. Working from a limited stock of punctuation glyphs, Multi tirelessly assembles various configurations. Launch Multi. Tap the screen anywhere to stop. Tap again to start. Tap and drag on the right side to adjust the speed (a line appears under your finger — up for faster, down for slower). Save a particular face by pressing and holding your finger on the screen until you see a flash (like a screenshot). Continue holding down to text it to a friend. * Italian designer Enzo Mari spent the year 1957 drawing an apple. The result, ...
O-R-G is *now* a small software company. O-R-G designs, programs, publishes, and sells apps, websites, screensavers, and other small chunks of code.
PublisherO-R-G2018
The computer is already a hypnotic device. Staring at a fixed focal length, scrolling, and swiping all induce what hypnotherapist Daniel Ryan calls “subtle learning states.” And on the screen, what we repeatedly learn is a bent set of values including ravenous consumerism, preposterous ideas of hierarchy, race, gender, beauty, and spirituality. We consume these more deeply than we realize. Hypnotists have used pendulums, repeating sounds, vanishing points, particular vocal cadences, and a variety of other means to produce a state of consciousness and brain activity marked by calm focus and extra sensitivity to suggestion. These tools facilitate what’s called “induction.” Can ...
PublisherO-R-G2018
In 1965, Bruno Munari designed a small black box — the austere 15-cm steel cube housed four aluminum cones, each painted half-red and half-green and set to spin at four distinct speeds on an 18-minute cycle to produce a very slowly turning composite color moving from red to green. Munari called it the Tetracono and its function was to show forms in the process of becoming: The art of the past has accustomed us to seeing nature as static: a sunset, a face, an apple, all static. People go to nature looking for images such as these static things, whereas an apple is in ...
PublisherO-R-G2009
Ten years later, in an interview with PC Magazine, Brian Eno picked up the thread of an ambient composition. To his interviewers’ dismay, he claimed that the only useful quality of computers is their potential as semi-automated compositional systems. He confronted the interviewer, stating that “the only interesting thing about computers is screensaver software”. Software used to move large chunks of data around (such as video editing, page layout or even word processing) were all wrong — the transformative power of software was its ability to create real-time models that automatically generate endless variations. The result of collapsing two simultaneous views ...
PublisherO-R-G2009
Three minutes of doing nothing, then everything goes black. In 1983, John Socha wrote the first screensaver software to preserve the image quality of computer displays. Published in Softtalk magazine in 1983 and named SCRNSAVE, the simple program turned the user’s screen to black after three minutes of inactivity (the time could be adjusted only by recompiling the program). Personal computers were becoming affordable and popular, but their high-contrast green phosphor cathode-ray screens were subject to burn-in, where light intensity in one part of the screen left behind a permanent mark. SCRNSAVE was designed to eliminate these ghost-images and preserve ...

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