Sol Lewitt drawing rules #118 on P5.js

Some time ago in class I did drawing of Sol Lewitt’s drawing rules #118:


and this is the result that I came up with:


And this week in class we learned how to draw this on P5.js


and this is how it ended up looking like. So I went home and tried to experiment with this drawing. So I challenged myself and added more rules to #118

To make this easier on my computer I used 20 points instead of 50.

The first addition to the rules: make a new randomized pattern every time you click on the screen.


then the second addition to the rules: click to add a new point that appears randomly.


the third addition to the rules: make them individually move, randomized with each click.


The fourth addition to the rules: click to add a new point that appears randomly, and make them move at random direction and speed.


The fifth addition to the rules: add points by clicking and being able to drag existing points.


So there. that was my journey with Sol Lewitt’s drawing rules #118 on P5.js

There was a point when I couldn’t figure out how to do any of this and had a breakdown and spiraled into the rabbit hole of ‘what if i just suck at coding and picked a wrong career path?’ but everything turned out fine. I’m still struggling with the codes but in fun ways.


another one of Sol Lewitt’s drawing rule:


William Latham: Artificial Life

I think artificial life is very valuable for us to understand how things become. By understanding how computer evolution works I think we’ll get to understand a thing or two of our own evolution. Latham created his “own vision of nature” through artificial life. The text mentioned:

However, here he is neither concerned with the simulation of biological processes, nor with the production of animated structures in the sense of artificial life.

Which I think is important for the creative process. And I guess while we could potentially learn things about biology through artificial life, it doesn’t mean that it has to mimic biology. I think that’s the beauty about new technology. I believe machines don’t have to mimic us to exist.

It reminds me of a discussion about Artificial Intelligence that I had in one of the courses I took last semester, Affect and Emotion in Practice with Judith Doyle. We had a discussion about how AIs and robots don’t have to act and look like human to be intelligent. I think it’d be fun to live with them if they have their own personalities and quirks that aren’t human-like.

Using these techniques, the computer becomes an intelligent coworker that suggests forms, something that once could never have imagined.

I want to learn more about generative art and artificial nature, I think this is the collaboration between human and machine that I’ve been looking for, the poetry that I was talking about early last semester when I first started working with P5.js.

System can assist an artist to create imaginative forms, and computers are good at applying systems, and very fast at drawing.

I think, for me personally, I want to create art with computers because I want to collaborate with them. I’ve always treated my materials as my collaborators, be it pencil, wood, computer, or anything, really. I don’t want to manipulate my materials. I want to give them room to breathe. And slowly they will move, slowly they will dance with me. And I’ve always been fascinated by machines ever since I was a kid. To be able to create art with machines is a dream of mine.

Here is my attempt at Latham’s FormSynth


Sol Lewitt, Paragraphs on Conceptual Art: A Response

(unrelated, in class thoughts: Do you think if it wasn’t for the military needs, robotic and AI technology would’ve gone through an entirely different route than we are today? less anthromorphized? less advanced because of less funding and interest?)

In my practice, my work has always been conceptual. Before doing my sculptural work, I wasn’t aware of Sol Lewitt (or most artists in general, because I never had any formal education nor access to fine art growing up in Indonesia) but my undergraduate professor told me about him because he thought my work reminds me of his philosophy.

The concepts are never rational, if it becomes rational, then it means nothing. The concept doesn’t have to be complex. Sometimes it comes from a single or two lines of poems I write before I go to bed. Lewitt said, “Ideas are discovered by intuition. What the work of art looks like isn’t too important.” I always follow my intuition, I might now know what the meaning or the symbolism mean, but that is to be discovered later when the work of art is done.

If you create a work of art that you know everything of, in and out of it, deep psychological meaning behind all the symbolism you meant to put on it, then what is the point of that? What is the point of a conceptual art work if it cannot be perceived infinitely? My undergraduate thesis professor once told me, if you know the meaning of everything in your work, then you are not creating artwork for yourself, but for other people. I think, one should be able to infinitely dissecting the meaning of the work by themselves.

An idea and a plan, as Lewitt has put it, “eliminates the arbitrary, the capricious, and the subjective as much as possible.” As much as conceptual work follow intuition, it is not an abstract. It’s not subjective. But everything is subjective, isn’t it? Is there anything out there in the world that is truly objective? What I think Sol Lewitt meant is for the work to be able to be open for interpretation to many of the viewers in many ways.

Architecture, whether it is a work of art or not, must be utilitarian or else fail completely. Art is not utilitarian. When three-dimensional art starts to take on some of the characteristics, such as forming utilitarian areas, it weakens its function as art.” I’m not sure if I agree with this statement. I think, something still can be completely utilitarian and still serves as art. The notion that utilitarian objects cannot be art is elitist. Concept doesn’t have to be rational, but it can be rational. Art doesn’t only exist in forms but also in ornaments. Creating art for the art’s sake as the only pure form of art is a dated thinking.

Here are my drawings that I did in class, following the drawing rules by Sol Lewitt, including the last 2 drawings following my own rules and my colleague’s rules:




Little Legged Bot

It has been a while since the last time I wrote, but I made an academic twitter for shorter updates on my readings and everyday thoughts. Anyway, the other day, I told my head of department that I feel that a big chunk of my graduate school experience is missing because there are not as much critical discussion around art and technology as I think it should. I mean, the world is falling apart and we can’t just stand around in a comfortable bubble of academia not talking about what matters in the world. Experiments for the sake of experimentation matters, too, but I can’t stand not having critical discussion around it.

My graduate school experience has been okay. maybe a little too mediocre. I’m learning everyday, but I think I have a higher learning capacity that is not optimized in this environment. Sometimes I wonder how things would have been had I been able to afford to enroll to Cranbook Academy of Art.

But thinking about what would and could have beens is a waste of time, I think I’d rather think about what I can do in my current environment. recently, I have been working on a robot for my last assignment for the class (prompt has not been given yet but of course I’d steal a head start).


This is the model for the moving legs part. I’m creating a simple robot that would hide itself when it detects movement or if it runs into a dead end. I’m exploring vulnerability with this robot. I want to see what kind of affect it will evoke within the viewers.

My worry right now is that if the body would be too heavy on the back part, I have to somehow balance it in the front part with an extra weight or something. The walking mechanism seems to be doing alright, though I have not fully tested it with a motor yet (I also have yet to design the casing for the dc and servo motors).

I’m pretty excited about this project, I hope I would have enough time to explore and execute this little one.

Wood Breakage, Machine Fallibility

I think what makes human so interesting is the fact that we’re all so flawed. Flaws might seem like something that’s undesirable to most people, as many consider them as faults or weaknesses. To me flaws are endearing, whether in humans, wood, or machines. Just because one is incapable of surpassing their own limits at the time, does not mean they are broken. The beautiful thing about being human is that our limits change over time, they fluctuate. People learn and fail. Fail, fail, succeed, and fail again. One’s success might look like failure to another, and vice versa.

About a week ago, I had a meeting with Stan Krzyzanowski, an undergraduate faculty at OCAD University. He teaches first year sculpture classes and introduction to wood, just like Ken Martin did at MICA. We met at his small office in the main building near the second floor cafe. He remarked that he just got a new computer for his office.

He told me that he thought he was a furniture maker, and that was what he called himself for so many years until one day he realized that it was not something that he wanted to do. He was interested in the expansion and cracking of the material he was working with, which was wood. Then he started studying in the breaking of the material. He showed me pictures and videos of his works, but some of the links and the videos kept breaking on him because of the new computer, it doesn’t play flash, and he couldn’t show the pieces he wanted to show me, one of them being this piece, a pine cone that showers itself with water the moment it dries out.

(Cone Oscillator by Stan Krzyzanowski)

I was talking to him about how I want to collaborate with my material, and while I was working with wood as my material I felt like I understood its limit and such, but not with technology. Then I showed this piece that I did in undergraduate, Memento Mori, to Stan. When I was working on this piece, I realized for the first time that I couldn’t manipulate wood to whatever I wanted forever– that one day, it would tell me ‘no’, break, and spring back on me. Memento Mori Part II was the piece that taught me that.

cc5e7549763961.58be31a41d85f(Memento Mori, Part II by Nilam Sari)

But Stan asked me, if it was really a collaboration if you keep letting it do whatever it wants to do? To which I replied, “what do you mean?” Stan turned to his computer and clicked on the link that he knew was not working, showing a blank page. He turned to me and asked, “I mean, if the screen is not working, is it a collaboration with technology?” I just stared at it. It’s not, is it?

Then he showed this piece, where he put together a bunch of simple recording of a spinning metal faceplate from the lathe into html. All videos are of the same recording, but the limit of an old cospimputer processor he had that time played the video at different speed and timing

(Spinning Lathe Faceplate Grid Video by Stan Krzyzanowski)

And I realized that in my more recent piece from undergraduate, “Permanent Address“, I worked with wood carefully. Bent but never broke it. I made it into a thing that it was not but definitely not forcing it to not what it wanted to be. I might had not realized it when I was talking to Stan but I see it now I think.

dsc_0141(Permanent Address by Nilam Sari)

And in regards to technology, I think I haven’t found the limits and breaking point to it. I like machines but I don’t know why I like it yet. Why do I like it when machines glitch? Is it because I like flaws? vulnerability? Can I tell the difference between a glitch and a bug yet? I don’t know, I don’t know yetStan told me that if a material speaks to me, then I gotta do something with it. I might not know today, but I will learn more and more everyday from it, and that’s what makes it fun.

I think machines can be as flawed as human beings. It perhaps isn’t something that can be programmed, but is found. If it does what it was told to do then the machine is not flawed, but is imitating a flaw. Maybe I should get more attuned to everyday machines, get cheap robots, go to best buy and watch a roomba or something, I might find more machine fallibility in everyday life.

I wonder what is with me, my practice, and my obsession in finding living quality in machines? Is finding these in other human beings not enough for me? Why do I want machines to appear to be alive? That’s another topic for another post. I personally have not found the answer to these, but I do find joy when it happens. I think as an artist, it is my job and joy to find something meaningful behind everyday mundane things.

A Spoon For Two



A Spoon For Two
Hard Maple

“A Spoon For Two” is a piece that was created from a conversation that I had with one of my best buddy, Emary Parisi, and in context of one of the course I’m currently taking called “Affect And Emotion in Practice”.

In my practice, I always want to collaborate with my material. Because collaboration brings the best of everybody involved and merged it into one beautiful outcome. I don’t want to manipulate my materials, for I do not want to force them to be what they are not meant to be. In life, I’m also always in constant state of collaboration. As an artist and designer who lives with bipolar disorder, I have to collaborate with my illness to live a “normal” life. It’s like a dance, careful steps back and forth, side to side, it can be tiring after a while, but always, it’s fun.

I want to create an embodiment and an experience of having to do this collaboration in simplest everyday life events like having a meal. Vlusser mentioned that “gestures are to be considered movements of the body and, in broader sense, movements of tools attached to the body.” So I made a video of people sharing A Spoon For Two to have a meal together. What kind of gestures will people make while they dance for a meal together?

A Spoon For Two

I think everybody had fun collaborating.