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meiotic clusters

Meiotic Clusters are organic forms generated using a system of simple rules and black and white circles. In this sketch, a detailed field of meiotic clusters is generated and randomly permuted to demonstrate the nature of their composition.

Selected clusters can be forced to morph by clicking them.


interactive illustration morphing isometric view of the meiotic cluster's layering method
Alternating white and black circles are stacked on top of each other create each meiotic form. The diagram to the left shows the way in which discs are stacked. Note how pairs of discs decrease in size as they go up. Looking straight down on the structure, a foreground object rises out of the black background through discs of opposite color.

The placement of each circle is not entirely random. Starting first with a randomly offset white circle, each new circle is placed somewhere along the previous' perimeter. At random intervals, the placement circle is reset such that new circles are more likely placed around larger ones.

Simple expansions of the generating engine produced some unusual arrangements as seen below.


figure detailed 'crown' meiotic constructs generated with 7 pairs of black and white discs, then given bevels and shadows


This project was inspired by the powerful effect of observing common multiples and a bowl of boiling lentils (and coded in just as much time).

figure the same generating technique using squares instead of circles

figure random geometric forms composed entirely of overlapping black and white circles


jtarbell, September 2002

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