Sunday, November 09, 2008


:: Clocktet ::

This was one of my first ever Internet collaborations, back when the Web was still pretty new. Richard Hawkins had a high end (for the day) SGI computer graphics workstation, and could pump out these amazing geometric cartoons, an original inspiration for my hypertoon concept, which he encouraged me to write-up for a contest SGI was holding (I might have won a machine like his).

Anyway, I'd write these little "screenplays" about scenarios I'd like to see, and he stitched them together, added his own, picked the perfect sound track and voila: ClockTet. I remember showing this as the "cartoon feature" in San Diego's Balboa Park during the 1995 Fuller Centennial. People packed into that little theater to see movies about Bucky, and I did a live show with this ClockTet on VHS tape, just to warm up the audience.

Just to explain something: the title derives from the fact that 3 o'clock is a 90 degree angle on a standard dial clock, which 2 o'clock is 60 degrees. From the former we develop the cube, from the latter a tetrahedron, then we show all these relationships characteristic of Fuller's approach to geospatial literacy, involving the Jitterbug, duo-tet cube and so on.

Richard went on to make many more mathcasts of this kind, focusing on A & B module dissections especially, but not exclusively. Many of these were warehoused at the New Civilizations web site.