Moths are misunderstood creatures. Compared with butterflies–their glamorous, spotlight-hogging cousins–moths are seen as drab, furry insects with an irritating habit of nesting in packed away clothes. But moths are actually much more diverse than butterflies, with over 160,000 species (compare that to 17,500 butterfly species) ranging from the giant silk moth to the brilliantly colored sunset moth of Madagascar.
@mothergenerator, a new Twitter bot, adds to the diversity by generating spectacular digital moths, naming them, and tweeting them. The Moth Generator (or lepidoptera automata if you want to get scientific) is a joint venture between artist and poet Katie Rose Pipkin and artist and video game designer Loren Schmidt.
The generative moths displayed on their Twitter page are beautiful and intricate, with feathery wings, geometric patterns, and soft iridescent hues that expertly mimic live moths. (Their names are just as compelling: a mix of layman terms and Latin names creates combinations like “sculptured-dot morbid/antipoda bragueia” and “small devil-cydosia moth/ chalcoryodes candela.”) Moths have a fractal quality that make them seem oddly at home on the web as a product of algorithms and numbers. All the more fitting that the first computer bug—the first literal insect known to have short-circuited a computer (although not the origin of the term in engineering)—was a moth.
Visit the Moth Generator here.