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Software Turns Your Trackpad Gestures into Painterly Brushstrokes

Artist Ali Eslami has released an app that turns computer use into Pollock-esque images.

The amount of movements your hand makes when using a mouse or touchpad are significant, the manner in which you move them not dissimilar to a brushstroke. Ali Eslami, a computer artist based in Tehran, Iran has used those movements to create a time-based series of images which come across as abstract expressionist in the vein of Jackson Pollock, minus the heavy drinking.

The images trace a user's movements as they go about their daily online business. Eslami used Processing for the movements, which gives the outcome its painterly feel. As the software runs away in the background it records your hand's motion with the color changing every 30 seconds to give the resulting image its variation.


Image courtesy of artist

Eslami says he's noted a few differences in his experiments: User activity is paramount to the outcome, using a mouse or touchpad makes a big difference to the patterns, the version of operating system will also vary the outcome, and some lonely areas of the screen never seem to get any mouse action at all.

Eslami developed his data art project last year, but has recently released it in app form (Windows only) so anyone can try it out. If you do try it he encourages you to share your results with him.

Below are some raw and edited (in Photoshop) versions of his own results which have been recorded for between three to four hours.

Raw. Image courtesy of artist

Raw. Image courtesy of artist

Edited. Image courtesy of artist

Edited. Image courtesy of artist

You can learn more about the project here.


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