Giuseppe Randazzo is a renowned designer from Turin, Italy whose interests range from generative art, new-media art and contemporary art, to architecture, coding, science and technology.
Randazzo says he feels the "need to explore the blurred boundary between art and science." His series of 3D printed, generative digital sculptures which appear to be carefully organized pebbles and stones on a flat plane, entitled Stone Fields, was largely inspired by land art constructs from English sculptor Richard Long.
Long is a sculptor, photographer and painter is the only artist to be shortlisted for the Turner Prize four times. It's said he turned down the prestigious prize back in 1984.
Of his work, Long has said:
"I like the fact that every stone is different, one from another, in the same way all fingerprints, or snowflakes (or places) are unique, so no two circles can be alike. In the landscape works, the stones are of the place and remain there. The selection of the stones is usually random; also individual stones will be in different places within the work each time. Nevertheless, it is the 'same' work whenever it is re-made."
Taking that vision as a point of departure, Randazzo's images were created via software using C++ programming and his custom application which rendered 3D files to created the pieces. The code itself, a C++ console application, outputs an OBJ 3D file.
The 3D models were produced from those original meshes and interestingly, weren't originally built with 3D printing as a consideration.
The 25cm x 25cm models were ultimately produced by Shapeways from their "White and Strong" polyamide material and then painted with an airbrush to achieve the final effect.
"The minute details of the original meshes were by far too tiny to be printed," Randazzo said. "However, despite the small scale, these prototypes give an idea of the complexity of the gradients of artificial stones."
According to Randazzo, the 3D objects were created with what he called an "optimal packing algorithm over a surface." He says the virtual stones were made from several fractal subdivision strategies and placed in position within the circle via a trial and error hierarchical algorithm. The artist used a mix of attractors and scalar fields – the addition of a little Perlin noise – to determine the density and size of the stones.