Space-filling curves the hard way
January 14, 2019 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Wacław Szpakowski was a polish artist who made a series of complex drawings using one continuous line turning back on itself repeatedly. More examples viewable here; a few animated versions; some pages from his notebooks. (Those last three links are futzy embeddings from, which has Polish- and English-language info about his life and work.) More images still if you click on "IMAGES" at the top right of this page.
posted by cortex (14 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
posted by jacquilynne at 9:24 AM on January 14, 2019

Wow, these are so captivating. I just spent the last several minutes sitting at my desk saying "wow" out loud at various designs, and that was before I even got to the animations.
posted by solotoro at 9:36 AM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

oh wow, BLDGBLOG! Hadn't visited in too long.
posted by thelonius at 10:29 AM on January 14, 2019

And Etch-a-Sketch hadn't even been invented yet...
posted by rubah at 10:38 AM on January 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

And to think I sometimes made fun of the people who obsessively drew elaborate mazes when we were kids.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:10 PM on January 14, 2019

This reminds me of pre-colombian art motifs.
posted by Oyéah at 12:26 PM on January 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Wow! So beautiful. And calming too. Thanks for sharing.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:04 PM on January 14, 2019

These are so neat! Great find.
posted by wicked_sassy at 1:17 PM on January 14, 2019

Wow these are beautiful. They are actually even more complex than they appear at first glance and have lots of wonderful emergent patterns and optical illusions.

Thanks, cortex!
posted by straight at 2:04 PM on January 14, 2019

I can imagine the auto industry scooping these to put on various panels and bits of trim.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:14 PM on January 14, 2019

posted by gryphonlover at 2:58 PM on January 14, 2019

I didn't look at the URL or the page header of the main link before I started skimming the article. Then I landed on the paragraph:
It’s hard to exaggerate how interesting these are from an architectural point of view: labyrinths of a single line, suggesting possibilities for infinite complexity along single paths of circulation. Room after room after room, laid out along a sufficiently complex corridor, becomes a building as large as a city.
Unmistakable BLDGBLOG style. I haven't had a regular dose of that blog since I quit my RSS reader, now years ago.
posted by lostburner at 9:29 AM on January 15, 2019

Embroidery. There's a lot of embroidery like this.
posted by Jane the Brown at 10:55 AM on January 15, 2019

Mesmerizing! I’m going to get a tattoo of one of these, just to drive my tattoo artist into madness.
posted by ejs at 7:36 PM on January 15, 2019

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