Lan Wei-Looking Outwards-02

The project Unnumbered Sparks was done by  Janet Echelman and Aaron Koblin in 2014. It was installed in the busy city centre of Vancouver.

It is very touching to see people taking off their gloves in cold winter to interact with the artwork with smiles on their faces. Nowadays peoples are moving around between cities and they seem like outsiders to everywhere. And electrical devices seems to alienate people from real life. But in this artwork electrical devices help people to engage in the environment around them and even change it, which brings warmth to the city. I love the idea to engage people’s behavior into the appearance of the artwork. In technical senses, the artwork was lit up by the projectors on the top of the net. And the technologies behind are Google Chrome, Go, WebGL, WebSockets, Web Audio and Polymer.

I feel that generative art is very promising to integrate with public spaces in the profession of architecture.

Night View
Day View

Mimi Jiao – Looking Outwards 6 – Section E

Janet Sobel drip painting, Untitled.

Janet Sobel was an abstract expressionist painting whose works drew directly from Jackson Pollock’s drip painting techniques. Although her career was short lived, she created many well known pieces that have very interesting repetition of form and texture. Like Pollock, she used unconventional materials to create the drip effect, including glass pipettes and enamel paint. The drip painting technique is uses biased randomness. The drip of the painting is controlled by controlled and constant variables such as gravity, speed of paint drip, and acceleration, but since it is done so freehandedly, the amount of paint and the technique of the paint drip are highly influenced by the constant variables in ways that are extremely hard to control precisely. This creates randomness in the painting. Although the art is preplanned, a variety of environmental and other factors will affect the way the piece turns out, which makes it random. Of her works, I really appreciate this piece and this piece, which are both untitled. Having seen so much of Pollock’s drip paintings in mainstream media, it is very refreshing to see different artists’ interpretations of the same technique. I love that Sobel’s paintings have more of a sense of fluidity to them. The contrast of thick and thin, the pools of paint, and the overlapping of different colors creates a very free flowing liquidity that I really enjoy. It reminds me of opp art and psychedelic patterns, especially with the bright colors and stark contrast between colors. All of these visual elements combine together to generate visual flow and allows my eye to explore the piece from one point to another. It begins to create a narration for my brain to comprehend, and I find myself not overwhelmed with choosing a place to start looking, which is what I often experience when looking at Pollock’s work. One thing I wish I could see more of is the use of different colors. Sobel’s drip paintings almost always use red, black, and white, and I wish there were more works like the first one that explores more types of color interaction. It would also be nice if there were more contextual information about her works; I found it hard to understand her purpose for creating art with the lack of information on the internet. However, I really enjoy her take on the randomness of drip painting and I prefer it over Pollock’s works.

Rachel Lee- Looking Outwards 06- Section E

This week, I have decided to explore the generative art of artist and creative coder Matt Deslauriers. In the particular experiment I am investigating Deslauriers has decided to depict a ‘seed’ that is randomly generated using simplex noises to render the particle’s size, position, scale, noise and velocity. As the artwork uses Node.js and Canvas to output frames as mp4 videos, when the user clicks the frame, the seed characteristics and background color is further randomised. I really admire and am impressed by Deslauriers’ generative art experiment because he managed to think every element through very carefully, despite having a limited degree of control over a randomised composition. For example, in order to achieve color contrast between each frame, he used a module by another developer to ensure legibility of text on background color and visual harmony between elements, demonstrating his acute attention to detail. Overall, I think each composition is very beautiful, and the artist was able to demonstrate his artistic sensibilities by investigating contrasts, the shape of the strokes the underlying framework which the generative strokes follow (e.g. grid, circular, hexagonal).

A still from Deslaurier’s generative piece (2016)


Connor McGaffin – Looking Outwards – 06

The work of Siebren Versteeg caught my attention this week due to its playful deceit. Versteeg creates work that emulates the style of contemporary abstract artists through writing code which, with a series of randomized variables, creates unique pieces of art. Versteeg explains that although he considers his work randomized, there is still human bias of beauty in his work present in his ensuring that the pieces still looked, “dripped”, and “stuck” like a physical painting.

With this being said, it is evident that Siebren Versteeg used code with variables limited within a certain range. For example, the colors depicted in his work do not mix as they “normally” would digital, for mediums like oil or acrylic behave differently. Versteeg’s artistic sensibility is definitely self-aware, as his work is just as much about the process and product as it is commentary on the art world at large. The lines between human expression and randomized calculations is thoroughly blurred.


Alice Fang – Looking Outwards – 06

Poultri, generated on February 2, 2015
A conversation, generated on September 29, 2018

smiling face withface is a Tumblr-bot that was created by Allison Parrish, a computer programmer, poet, educator and game designer who currently teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. smiling face generates and posts glitchy emoticons, pulling randomly from the open-source SVG files from Twitter’s twemoji project. The randomness, in this case, is obtained from a set data source (Twitter’s emojis, of which there are 2841) , and a Python program adjusts the numbers and paths from the emoji taken. The results are strange amalgamations that are fun, quirky, and very colorful, and most of the time, nearly unrecognizable from the original source. Personally, I think the glitchy-ness makes viewing these emojis more interesting, if sometimes uncomfortable, because you know what it is but there’s something that’s slightly off. Many of them make me laugh, and the project is still ongoing into October 2018, so there’s more to look forward to!

Jamie Dorst Looking Outwards 06

For this week’s looking outward, I found my piece of random art on a website called the ReCode Project. The ReCode Project is a “community-driven effort to preserve computer art by translating it into a modern programming language (Processing). Every translated work will be available to the public to learn from, share, and build on.” The piece I am focusing on is based on Untitled 4, by various artists, recoded by Corneel Cannaerts.

Untitled 4, a piece of computer generated art that takes in random values every time it is clicked.

Every time the mouse is clicked, the lines/rectangles generate in a new way. I liked this piece because it is very geometric and everyone would see something different in it (especially because it is random). I also liked how the vertical lines almost look like a background, and the horizontal ones seem to pop out as if they are 3D on top of the vertical lines. This was made with Processing, which I also liked because it is similar to what we are using in this class. I thought that the ReCode project overall was also a great idea, I like that it is focused on helping the society as a whole learn from these projects.

Elena Deng-Looking Outwards 06

Andrej Bauer’s Random Art

This week I decided to take a look at Andrej Bauer’s random art. Within the image, the mathematical formula determines the color of each pixel in the image. Within the code, there is a list of operators referring to the other operators in the list. The idea of the image is to generate expression trees to describe an image. For each point of the image (x,y) we will evaluate the expression and get a color. The colors are determined by (r, g, b) which are numbers between -1 and 1. The image displayed is a large number of rectangles (pixels) on the canvas. The program uses a RGB color model. The model uses Python and it can be changed by introducing new operators.