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This Is Not A Rock

One day in 1991, I went swimming in a lake. Going out to the deepest point where I could still tippy-toe touch, I felt a large, smooth rock with my feet. I could barely dig it out and bring it to the surface. That rock is still with me. I once thought I lost it. Six months later, I found it in the trunk of my car. I threw a party to celebrate its return, but it was just us two.

The rocks you see here are not my rock. They are not rocks. They are not even images of rocks. They're code. But does that matter? If I were to show and ask you "What is this?", you'd probably say "It's a rock". So then, what is it? The title and imagery borrow from René Magritte's paintings Treachery of Images and The Castle of the Pyrenees. Like those paintings, This is Not a Rock acts as a gateway to introspection and encourages the viewer to question what they are looking at while thinking about the interplay between object, representation, and truth.

This is Not a Rock continues my exploration into Quines (software which outputs its own source code). In the scene, a large rock hovers, defying gravity. Behind the rock, a backdrop of computer code; combining the digital and the physical. The code you see is is the actual code used to generate the scene. It is all created inside a single-pass fragment shader with Javascript and GLSL, and rendered using a technique called Raymarching.

Keyboard Commands: Press [L] to save an image. Press [Z] to zoom in/out.

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