intermomentary — Visualize the momentary and aggregate intersections


intermomentary [-display host:display.screen] [-foreground color] [-background color] [-num-discs disc count] [-draw-delay delayms] [-max-riders maxr] [-max-radius maxradius] [-fps]


The Intersection Momentary is a fun visualization defining the relationships between objects with Casey Reas, William Ngan, and Robert Hodgin. Commissioned for display at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

A surface filled with 100 medium to small sized circles. Each circle has a different size and direction, but moves at the same slow rate. Display:

    A. The instantaneous intersections of the circles.
    B. The aggregate intersections of the circles.

The circles begin with a radius of 1 pixel and slowly increase to some arbitrary size. Circles are drawn with small moving points along the perimeter. The intersections are rendered as glowing orbs. Glowing orbs are rendered only when a perimeter point moves past the intersection point.

Ported to XScreensaver from the art project "InterMomentary" at by J.Tarbell


intermomentary accepts the following options:
-num-discs disc count (Default: 85)
Number of slowly moving and growing discs to use. The more discs, the more CPU power.
-draw-delay delayms (Default: 30000)
Delay in ms between drawing cycles. More delay, slower (but smoother and less CPU intensive.) art.
-max-riders maxrider (Default: 40)
Maximum number of 'riders', single dots moving around the edge of the discs.
-max-radius maxradius (Default: 100)
Maximum possible radius of a disc.
Display the current frame rate and CPU load.


to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.


Setting the background to anything besides black confuses the intensity
algorithm and will look terrible.


J. Tarbell <>, Jun-03

Mike Kershaw <>, Oct-04