A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door.- Freidreich Hundertwasser, Your Window Right.
Give your modernist "masterpiece" its own Hundertwasser Makeover!
Feel like a King! Clothes optional!
Click here to use the app
The Hundertwasser Makeover Kit is a painting program where you can apply Hundertwasseresque elements to the facades of buildings. You do this by adding
- arms which will paint their immediate surroundings, and
- trees which will grow and periodically shed their leaves
What to press (make sure the applet has the focus) :
- To add an arm to the picture :
- Press and release the space bar
- Now use the mouse to mark a quadrilateral region within which the arm will draw. Click to choose four points that define the quadrilateral in the following (clockwise) order : top-left, top-right, bottom-right, bottom-left
- The arm should appear and start painting within the space you just defined. Please note, however, that on certain versions of Java it seems that the mouse clicks don't get registered as accurately as we'd like and the region marked out is incorrect (you'll sometimes see a very long arm drawn from the top left corner of the window). If this happens, you can press the "r" key to remove the arm, and try again.
- To add a tree to the picture :
- Press and release the "t" key
- Click the mouse once to mark where the tree should be painted.
- To start with a fresh background :
The Hundertwasser Makeover Kit comes with two not-so-exciting backgrounds on which you can practice your makeover skills. Brutalist icon Trellick Tower, and a rundown building I saw in Brussels a few weeks ago.
- To choose Trellick Tower, press the "c" key.
- To choose the Brussels building, press the "x" key.
- To practice on a plain background, press the "z" key.
When making over Trellick tower, feel free to consider questions about public housing. Was ugly and impersonal an unfortunate co-incidence with mass public housing? Or is it the natural expression of the institution that is government provision? Did privatisation of the appartments turn Trellick Tower from uninhabitable to luxurious? Or has Hundertwasser demonstrated that public can be as pleasurable? What will be the consequences of the UK Government's recent proposal to limit occupation of council houses to a fixed-term? Will this create a more vibrant and dynamic mosaic as each inhabitant leaves their personalization behind them? (The Hundertwasser arms periodically change their colour.) Or will ephemeral passers-through feel less responsibility for their environment?
- Before you create an arm :
You can chose which kind of arm you want to create :
- Press "y" to choose an arm which paints a Hundartwasserian spiral
- Press "u" or "i" to choose an arm in which both "shoulder" and "elbow" joints rotate at a fixed speed producing a regular "spirograph"-like pattern. In this mode the keys "," and "." and "l" and ";" will adjust the angular velocity of the two joints of the most recently added arm.
- Press "o" to choose an arm which responds to the movement of the mouse. NB : because of the transformation of co-ordinate systems which takes place when the arm is projected into its bounding quadrilateral, this arm won't behave the way you expect. To see a clearer demonstration of a mouse-following arm, by itself, press "v".
- Press 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 to change the thickness of the paint that all arms are using.
- Press "q" to change the colour of the most recently created arm.
- Press "=" to see a hint of some of the geometric reasoning taking place behind the scenes. This option will draw a black rectangle around the bounding quadrilateral of each arm, will show the bounding box of the spiraling algorithm in blue and will put white cross-hairs on all the important points who's positions are being calculated.
- NOT IN THE APPLET, but if you are running the code on your own machine, then press "p" to save a copy of the current window as a jpg file.
Click here to use the app
- Thanks to this site for the hint on arm kinematics.
- I did spend some time trying to find a clever way to make the painting arms more closely follow the underlying buildings, but didn't manage to achieve this. Eventually I decided to cheat and let the user tell the computer the shape of the building by drawing the bounding quadrilateral for each arm. This, I decided, was an acceptable compromise, as it also gave the user the freedom to follow the building's shape or not, so expanding her options for using the work.
- In general, I like this trade-off of simplicity (mine and program's) for a less constraining work. It reminds me of the criteria for a good hack and gives a sense of "proportionality". (One common frustration I feel when looking at works of digital and interactive art is to see that a great deal of ingenuity and technology has gone into their making and yet still find that the results feel narrow. Sometimes works which are less sophisticated can feel more pleasing, simply due to the sense of balance between what went into them and the pleasure they provide.)
- I also stopped worrying because an artist friend of mine pointed out that the superficiality of the paint having nothing to do with the underlying photograph raised questions about the superficiality of Hundertwasser's project. For example, here's a Hundertwasser styled motorway service station.
How much does this change the world?