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Golan Levin and Collaborators


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GML Experiments

2010 | Golan Levin with F.A.T. Lab and other collaborators

GML Experiments

Graffiti Markup Language (.gml) is a universal, XML based, open file format designed to store graffiti motion data (x and y coordinates over time). The format is designed to maximize readability and ease of implementation, even for hobbyist programmers, artists and graffiti writers. Beyond storing data, a main goal of GML is to spark interest surrounding the importance (and fun) of open data and introduce open-source collaborations to new communities. GML is intended to be a simple bridge between ink and code, promoting collaborations between graffiti writers and hackers. A wide variety of applications for capturing, displaying and disseminating GML have been developed.

As a member of the F.A.T. (Free Art and Technology) Lab, a collective dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media, I developed four GML-driven applications:

These are described below.

RoboTagger by Golan Levin & Jeremy Ficca
The RoboTagger is an eight foot tall industrial robot which draws tags and other marks encoded in GML. Inspired by a tweet from GML-co-creator Evan Roth, and developed in collaboration with Jeremy Ficca, director of Carnegie Mellon’s Digital Fabrication Laboratory (dFAB), the RoboTagger gave physical form to tags produced by TEMPT ONE, a paralyzed graffiti writer who recorded his tags using the F.A.T. Lab’s award-winning EyeWriter software. More information on the RoboTagger, including Processing source code, is available here.

Robotagger: GML + ABB4400 from Golan Levin on Vimeo.

Obama GML Playa by Golan Levin & Jérôme Saint-Clair
Based on a popular public-domain image of President Obama signing his initials on a wall, the Obama GML Playa shows the President drawing and redrawing random selections from the #000000book library of GML tags. Taking the form of an interactive Internet applet as well as a screensaver, the project was developed using the Processing library, GML GML4U by Jérôme Saint-Clair, and the Toxiclibs library by Karsten "Toxi" Schmidt. The Obama GML Playa and its complete source code can be accessed here.

GML Stenciler by Golan Levin & Charlie L.
GML Stenciler is an open-source software project for converting Graffiti Markup Language (GML) drawings into vector-art stencils suitable for laser cutting. This free tool solves the problem of transforming GML’s widthless linear strokes into adjustably-thickened stencil patterns with automatically bridged islands. More information about the GML Stenciler, including complete source code, can be found here.