Art and Design Society Websites

Personal Website Aesthetics

How do personal websites reflect social and aesthetic movements like lowbrow / outsider art, anti-capitalism/corporatism, minimalism?

Getting some quick thoughts on “paper”:

  • is DIY necessary for self-expression online? can templatized designs offer self-expression (e.g. wordpress templates)? or is that too reflective of the aesthetic zeitgeist?
  • does “slickness” and minimalist design inherently feel corporate now? how are corporate brands co-opting “humanity” through design choices? “imperfect / “more human” typography (e.g. type designed for print used online, exposing the bleed wells) becoming more popular recently in corporate design — have noticed it lately on Grist… will we see a rejection of minimalism and shift into maximalist design on personal websites? I feel like I see lots of minimalist personal websites
  • when personal websites are our personal brand how much risk are people willing to take with them? designers and artists want to show personality, but maybe not too much if they’re trying to attract corporate clients? is design staying safe in that realm? I suspect non-designers might be pushing the envelope more on aesthetics, more willing to experiment, though honestly don’t look around at folks’ portfolio websites the way I used to back in the Old Web — how would you do that these days, Smashing Magazine roundups?
  • what’s punk online today? what’s the website equivalent of a zine? the photocopy look or the ethic of throw this up fast and cheap?
  • connection between lowbrow / outsider art and rise of personal design — people have gained the power to design who didn’t have it before, and don’t have training, but want to have fun and express themselves… back in the day, Geocities websites and spinning gifs… did rise of unhindered “outsider” online creation coincide or interact in any way with rise of outsider art and lowbrow in the art world?
  • as anti-work / anti-corporate / anti-capitalist sentiment spreads, how will that change design aesthetics, online and off? will a more handmade look appeal? will craftsmanship return, and what would that look like in web form? (thinking of $$$ letterpress printed books I’ve seen lately)
Cool Science

Watched the Science of the Butterfly Effect

Watched The Science Behind the Butterfly Effect by Veritasium from

Chaos theory means deterministic systems can be unpredictable. Thanks to LastPass for sponsoring this video. Click here to start using LastPass:
Animations by Prof. Robert Ghrist:

Want to know more about chaos theory and non-linear dynamical systems? Check out:

Butterfly footage courtesy of Phil Torres and The Jungle Diaries:
Solar system, 3-body and printout animations by Jonny Hyman
Some animations made with Universe Sandbox:
Special thanks to Prof. Mason Porter at UCLA who I interviewed for this video.

I have long wanted to make a video about chaos, ever since reading James Gleick’s fantastic book, Chaos. I hope this video gives an idea of phase space – a picture of dynamical systems in which each point completely represents the state of the system. For a pendulum, phase space is only 2-dimensional and you can get orbits (in the case of an undamped pendulum) or an inward spiral (in the case of a pendulum with friction). For the Lorenz equations we need three dimensions to show the phase space. The attractor you find for these equations is said to be strange and chaotic because there is no loop, only infinite curves that never intersect. This explains why the motion is so unpredictable – two different initial conditions that are very close together can end up arbitrarily far apart.

Music from “The Longest Rest” “A Sound Foundation” “Seaweed”

Cool visualizations.