We have lately been accused of interpreting scope of ‘recursion’ too widely. We are therefore milling more grist.

Credit where credit is due is due to Simon Pampena



Problematic solution to found here:



26 August 2013


Play equipment, Horniman Gardens London

(with thanks to Julie L.)

Mechanical Oroborous

25 February 2010

Los Angeles artist Karl Lautman’s 2001 sculpture Ouroborus

Inspired by recursion hell, I thought I should have a go at contriving some recursive images of my own. My plan was simple. Surely all I had to do was hook up an external monitor, open the Mac Photo Booth application and place the monitor facing the screen of the laptop. In this way I thought I should able to create an instant Droste effect. But when when I pressed the ‘take photo’ button, all I got was a white screen as if I’d overloaded the system.

In the end I had to resort to the unsatisfactory solution of using a third device, viz my camera. It was difficult to get the two screens parallel while at the same time keeping the camera out of the picture:

This next one was a bit better in terms of the angle but didn’t show the recurring image as well.

At the end of the day, I wonder if I could achieve better results more simply just by using the screen-grab feature.

…I could end up being here all night at this rate.