Frederik Vanhoutte

Bruges, Belgium

I'm a medical radiation physicist with a PhD in experimental solid state physics.

When rain hits the windscreen, I see tracks alpha particles trace in cells. When I pull the plug in the bath tub, I stay to watch the little whirlpool. When I sit at the kitchen table, I plays with the glasses to see the caustics. At a candle light dinner, I stare into the flame.

Sometimes at night, I find myself behind the computer. When I finally blink, a mess of code is drawing random structures on the screen. I spend the rest of the night staring.

Working with Processing since 2004, creative coding fuels my curiosity in physical, biological and computational systems.

I erraticly share my constructs on Recently, my HE_Mesh Processing library is gaining a small following for the creation and manipulation of 3D meshes.


Bear with me on this one. One of the sto­ry­lines of William Gibson’s novel Count Zero con­cerns the Boxmaker, part of a frag­mented arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence resid­ing in an orbit­ing space sta­tion. It’s only remain­ing pur­pose is cre­at­ing Joseph Cornell type boxes from float­ing debris. Boxmaker is in a way a descen­dant of two other A.I.s, Neuromancer and Wintermute.
The image of this con­struct cre­at­ing art by dis­as­sem­bling com­plex items, going beyond the lim­its of its mechan­i­cal pro­gram­ming, has remained with me ever since I first read the novel. When I started play­ing around with gen­er­a­tive algo­rithms in 2004, I thought Wintermute to be a fit­ting name, quite wrongly as I would later realise. The name, short­ened to W:Mute (in part because other web­do­mains were unavail­able), was espe­cially appro­pri­ate since a) my orig­i­nal inten­tion was to never address you, the viewer and b) win­ter has always had a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for my fam­ily.
Anyway, tak­ing a name from a novel isn’t a smart move, espe­cially from a pop­u­lar one. Aside from this, there were other rea­sons to step away from the orig­i­nal Wintermute. Generative cod­ing builds com­plex­ity from sim­ple things, quite the oppo­site of the orig­i­nal Wintermute. And fun­da­men­tally the gen­er­a­tive code is guided to its final form by an inescapable human sense of esthet­ics. So the machine-like nature of Wintermute, how­ever strik­ing the imagery is, was actu­ally not what I intended to con­vey.
So W:Mute became W:Blut or Winterblut, Warmblut, Wereblut,… No longer mute