On CyberEnsō

Today's CyberEnso

A few years back, I had an encounter with Ensō a distinctive form of art found amongst the Zen practitioners. To create one, one has to free his body from mind and draw a circle in ideally one stroke (or two sometimes). It can be either an open or a closed circle, and they mean different things. While this art form is not exactly contemporary, it is modern in the sense that it negates the interpretative aspect of art criticism.[1] Meditation plays a far much greater role here than the techniques of producing the art.

This led me to an idea to build a Generative Art based on Ensō which I named CyberEnsō.

How Does it Work?

To draw an Ensō, one must free one's mind of thoughts, then _let one's body take control, and allow it to create a circle— momentous, signifying the phenomenon of life itself instead of a conscious intention.

CyberEnsō can be considered a means to do so. One has to free one's mind of thought and CyberEnsō takes that thought as the input. Then, it hashes it, which is a destructive process, adds some randomness to it and produces a unique circle. The computer here is just like a calligraphy brush. With the hashing and randomness, a body in mu-shin state has as much control over it as it has on a brush.

  1. The practice of drawing Ensō is a part of Hitsuzendō or the 'Way of Zen through brush'. Art arose from mu-shin cannot be interpreted by its content alone. ↩︎