Journal / 2023-03-01

Territory B leaves no space unused

This is a short article about Territory B, the second series in my ongoing explorations about different aspects of what "space" can mean.


The series' predecessor, Territory A, delved into the idea of occupying time as it moves forward. Territory B's focus is about maximalist use of space – whether it ends up being efficient sharing or outsized greed.

It's inspired by societal artifacts like ad-laden web pages, British land division, disk space tools, and wild posting.

Division, unity

Territory B applies a sort of kitchen-sink approach to filling out a composition. It subdivides a grid, then throws everything at it to get the space filled out.

The underlying noise source, however, is unified and continuous. Just like land division, the separations created in Territory B are ultimately artificial. Its compositions usually let the viewer see through the large blocks and feel the underlying field. Some elements describe it through angles and alignment, others by crowding certain areas.

Exposed features

Six named features describe some of the main behaviors in each iteration:

Palette name, and palette variant expose the choice of colors in a composition, and whether it is reduced to a subset of its colors.

Small blocks means the composition will not allow larger subdivisions to exist inside its grid.

No padding crowds out the space by completely cutting off the possible spacing between each block.

Squeeze cross axis will pick a main and secondary axis, then significantly increase the amount of possible rows or columns on the secondary one.

Color fill type is usually Block, meaning each block in the grid selects its color for its own fill patterns. Some iterations make an exception to this and have the Precise value instead, where each individual segment drawn by the script picks its own color from the underlying noise source.

Block types

Territory B has six global fill types that it applies to blocks in each iteration. The underlying field influences the block choice, making similar styles crowd together.

Three types are sub-grids that use rectangles, circles and lines to fill out. These types sometimes react to the field by picking element sizes or line angles based on its strength.

Two types fill out with a focal point – one centering on another rectangle inside the block, and the other drawing rays from the focal point to the edges of the block. The offset of the focal point is driven by the value field.

The sixth type is pointillism. The distribution of dots will often conform to and reveal the underlying field as well.


The collection will be available on fxhash on Tuesday, March 7th, at noon on Atlantic time (find your timezone here).