“Generative art refers to any art practice where [sic] artists use a system, such as a
set of natural languages, rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural
invention, which is set into motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or
resulting in a completed work of art.” – Philip Galanter
Generative practices focus on designing systems to produce aesthetic forms. Generative practices change the role of the creator, where rather than conceiving and controlling every detail of the final outcome, the artist or designer suddenly becomes the architect of a system, defining the possibilities and constraints of that system and selecting desired results.
Your task is to create a generator, a program or system that generates a collection of things. Each should be unique, but produced by the same code. Your generator might produce patterns, teacups, faces, poems, a letter of the alphabet etc etc. Spend time considering properties and constraints that you want to program into your system following these steps.
- Do the readings!
- Hand draw several sketches of possible outputs you would like your code to produce and spend some time considering what properties are changing in each and what the limits to variability might be.
- Realize one of your hand drawn sketches as code.
- Introduce variables to represent the values for whatever you want to change every time your sketch runs
- Experiment with changing the value of these variables, finding a desired range for each. Can you generate unpredictability in ways that go beyond the use of the random function? Generate new values for your variable each time the mouse is pressed or key is pressed to complete your generator.
- Generate at least 9 results using your generator and present them as a grid of images.
- Include a short reflection of your results, discussing how you managed unpredictability and control in your system. (200 words) Post your grid of images, your reflective text and a link to your code on the WordPress blog. Include some images of your initial sketch and process.
- Reference your work. Include a bibliography citing inspirational projects or code examples that you used to realize your work. This should be done as a bibliography in the blog post.
- Nick Montfort et al. “Randomness,” 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10, https://10print.org/ (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 119-146.
- Kate Compton, “So you want to build a generator…” https://galaxykate0.tumblr.com/post/139774965871/so-you-want-to-build-a-generator
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