The Shapes Project by Allan McCollum made in 2005-2006 is a project in which McCollum generates millions of unique shapes in order to mimic the breadth of the population when it hits its peak during the middle of the current century around 2050. McCollum created enough images so that every person on earth could have one. I admire this project because of the consideration it gives to every human in existence and the fact that none of the shapes are replications of each other. It is a thoughtful and interesting project. The random shapes are made using the system that he created and does not specify on. The prints can be made from different materials using Adobe Illustrator “vector” files.  The artist’s sensibilities are seen in the work from the magnitude and profundity of the project.


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Irrational Geometrics, 2005-2015,by PASCAL DOMBIS

Pascal Dombis is a French visual artist. He has an art style of whose unpredictable and dynamic visual forms, and he uses the technology a lot, like programs to generate repetitive shapes, lines, patterns and so on for his works. Irrational Geometrics is one of the works with the classic unpredictable generated art style. This piece of arts explored the relationship and development of straight lines and curves, as it was described “When you take a line fragment and give it a stretch, as you do with the string of a bow, the first result is a curve, then a circle and in case you go for it, endlessly, the ultimate artefact is a line again.” The best part of this art installation was the interaction between the audience and the projection. Once the rope was pulled, the whole wall started to change. Thousands of millions of carves were moving, rotating and changing on the wall as you controlled.  Pascal Dombis used the algorithm to generate all the lines and curves as well as their movements.

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This is a generative art that consist of the genetic Algorithms.

This works by using the genetic algorithm to model a population of individuals, each containing a string of DNA which can be visualized in the form of an image. It starts with a population consisting randomly generated gene pool, then each is compared against the reference image. Each individuals are ranked by their likeness to it and display the fittest image for generative process. DNA with most accurate representation of the reference image is selected over previous generation and constantly generating best candidate. I appreciate this project not only because it is randomly generated but it is combining the field of coding into biology. He released the code of this algorithm on his github website.


This is a video created by Jonathan McCabe, a generative artist and designer from Canberra, Australia. He creates these pieces by giving random values to pixels, usually between -1 and 1, and defines sets of rules that dictate how the pixels will respond to those around them and therefore morph to create these life-like, biological patterns.

OB_tile_0501 from McCabe’s Flickr

McCabe’s art touches on British mathematician Alan Turing who proposed that “naturally occurring patterns — things like the spots and stripes on animal fur — could arise from a random state of cells.” In addition, the states of these cells would also affect the neighboring cells, and create a domino effect, just as the pixels in McCabe’s work are part of a much bigger network and affect one another. Art like this fits into the realm of aleatoricism, which is “the incorporation of chance into the process of creation, especially the creation of art or media.”

I am really fascinated by the idea of letting art define itself and leaving things up to chance rather than controlling something to the point that it suffers and creativity is suffocated. In my own experience, I’ve sometimes felt the need to make my art “perfect.” However, I soon realized that the mistakes I made in the process of art-making were very interesting, and it became more enjoyable to embrace the imperfections than force the work to be something it’s not.


Holger Lippmann

After looking on Google and Pinterest, I found an artist whose work I really enjoy. This week I will be doing my Looking Outwards Report on Holger Lippmann. His latest work can be found here.

Lippmann started with focused study in visual arts as a teenage. He went to his first computer graphics internship at the Institute of Technology in New York. He worked more closely with computers when he moved back to Germany, his fascination of working with software and internet based media grew. His work includes vector files ranging from sizes 80 centemetres to 180 metres wide.


One of the pieces I most admire is the Noise Scape 4 Series.

this is a rework of some ongoing scripts and one of Lippmann’s most recent works. I really enjoy this work because it is a romantic landscape painting that has been created with simple 2d geometries. Lippmann has programed a script that can run and produce many of these “paintings” and he then chooses the best to print.

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DRAWING, 147-137#2B, APRIL 14, 1964
DRAWING, STUDY 152-137A-B, FEBRUARY 24, 1966

John De Cesare was an American sculptor turned graphic illustrator. He is most famous for his colored pencil drawings of music where he created a complex and new language to visualize famous pieces of music. Heavily inspired by Art Deco ornamentation, De Cesare’s 250 drawings are a visual language with vibrant but flat color and distinct, geometric shapes. While these drawings are subjective to how De Cesare would interpret and visualize these scores, he studied music theory heavily before creating a complex algorithmic language.

In a Cooper Hewitt analysis of De Cesare’s work, De Cesare mathematically determined that:

Music has two geometric elements within its structure. A horizontal and a vertical reciprocally related. The horizontal movement from left to right indicates the duration (or time value) of a note and the vertical, or up and down movement, indicates the pitch (or position on the staff). Since a musical note contains both duration and pitch, it forms a geometric unit in the form of an angle. This angle can be considered the space form.
Using an angular geometric shape to symbolize a standard musical note, he varied its width to suggest the length in time, and its position on the staff to indicate the pitch. The direction of the angle up or down indicated the bass or treble clef. He created forms of entirely different shapes to symbolize vocal parts. He used color to clarify visually each line of music (for instance, in a simple score, violet “notes” might indicate notes in the treble clef and red “notes” those in the bass clef).

Unlike other artists who have created abstract musical notations, De Cesare stands out because the rendering of the music is still referential to the Art Deco art movement: his own personal background. I appreciate that this large series isn’t just an abstraction of music but also keeps to the artist’s own personal identity and can stand alone as a piece within the Art Deco movement.


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John Pound’s Ran Dum LOOP (1999) is a collection of code that randomly generates comic- and cartoon-style art. (An example of one of the randomly-generated pieces is shown below).

Pound wrote the code entirely in PostScript. The program does have some elements that are not randomly determined, but I wasn’t able to find out what those were or what type of randomness Pound was using.

I chose this project because I was drawn to the idea of randomly generating something that doesn’t seem like it would work well as a randomly generated piece. The viewer has to try to make sense of the generated panels and images, and I like the idea of being able to “see” an overarching narrative in a random sequence of images.



Since 2016, Joseph Pollock has been creating procedurally generated artwork using his own program written in C++ and OpenGL. Each image is actually a captured frame of these programs, which continuously animate – from there he does a small amount of manual photo-editing and stitching to create the final image. What’s really fascinating about this is that most of the compositions are solely up to the random nature of the program, making every image unique and engaging. Granted, what we’re seeing is Pollack’s curation of what his program produces, but that doesn’t make the final result any less impressive. I am curious, however, to see more of Pollack’s process and the animations from which he gets his stills. Even as still images, they have a living quality to them – growth and decay all at once.

More of Pollack’s work can be found on Flickr and GitHub.


This image is by Catodo, which is the stage name of Enrico Zimuel who is a computational artist, sound designer and software developer from Turin (Italy). This particular work he analyzed the painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch, and using the “pointillism” technique, a pixel is selected at random and draws a triangle with random width to the color that corresponds to the original painting. Catodo proposes an interesting interpretation of classical arts and how we can start to read and understand the connection between computational art and classical arts.

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The piece that I am choosing to write about for this week’s looking outwards is one which adheres to a more visual randomness, than randomness in regards to intention. The artist of this work is Casey Reas, and this work is an amalgamation of video, photography, and computation which results in seemingly randomized but stunning visual dissonance. Specifically his work in his semi-recent show of about a year, ULTRACONCENTRATED, seems to revel in visuals like these. The pieces however, are not just skin deep – they are meant to be representations of the body through media – each small rectangle a screen snatched from terrestrial television broadcasts. Reas created custom software to pickup on and distort/visualize the signals that flow through the air, and inherently through our bodies – signals which we use to communicate, share, and in doing so plays with our perception of technology and mass media.