One of my art axioms is "Beauty isn't necessarily interesting--but neither is data. It is what level of interesting that you choose to examine. Even beauty now has metadata behind it."
The MD5 Hash, a 32-character code, is metadata that functions as the unique fingerprint of a digital file or part of a file, such as a string of text. A digital photograph has lots of metadata behind it, or "under the hood". (As time goes on people will become more familiar with this terminology, as it is used in blockchain technologies.)
If you look at the page source behind a web page you will see what most people would consider "gobbledygook", as the Supreme Court has called it. More and more that "gobbledygook" is extremely important to understand. A word is in some sense the hood of a car, but not many people feel the need to open it, or may be intimidated by its complexity.
Two artists that have used text as the primary element of their work are Mel Bochner and Ed Ruscha. In the 1970s, Bochner had done a number of text paintings using the thesaurus as a source, and did a few "portraits" of people defined by text, as "Coded Representation". Ruscha has probably done hundreds of text paintings, some with cryptic acronyms such as "OOF".
The MD5 Hash is my "thesaurus", that I use as an algorithm to generate the characters. This is a corollary in some sense to serial music, which I had done briefly as a composition student, and now I find myself doing it in visual art. The piece is generated from a row of pitches in which the composer must use in sequence throughout the piece. A serial approach is a good way to do something by following a set of constraints or rules, and not have to invent something in order to complete the work. This extends into writing music for albums, where I work towards filling an hour with music. The Hash Art series, is in some sense an “album” of three equal pieces, becoming a “triptych”, a term unique to visual art. A vinyl LP is a "diptych" in a way, with groups of sub-elements on two sides.
The same system can use other basic elements besides letters and numbers, and can include found objects, arranged and organized by categories or when and where they were found, and placed in predetermined areas on the canvas.
Exploring the limits of something is an interesting way to see what might be usable in a more controlled context. (Audio distortion is a good example). It’s usually the happy accidents that inspire innovative thinking. Once you see something occurring in a new medium, it presents a whole new way of seeing.
Hurricanes are essentially fractal in nature and the underlying idea is the same: there are simple rules that allow systems to scale up or down in a linear fashion, ultimately controlled by randomness in the top-level system, such as the climate system as a whole, and its own limits: the earth is only so big, and the atmosphere is scaled accordingly. But it can only get so warm, as opposed to getting too cold. Mars and Venus are the examples of systems that reached limits of their scale, then become largely inert atmospheres.