Generative art, creative coding, procedural design

Teaching my computer to make prettier mistakes than me

September 8, 2014 — October 31, 2019

computers are awful
generative art
making things
photon choreography

Those names in order of decreasing highbrowness and increasing financial viability.

Figure 1

Either way, it means, more or less, “using algorithms to make pretty things instead of your hands” which I like to think about as designing artists as an artform. If you’ve seen a CGI film in the last 20 years, you’ve seen techniques that approach this. Flocking, L-systems, agents, evolutionary systems, a-life, pattern formation and so on. My interest reflects my High Art, pontifical sensibility. But video games are totes sick too.

Missing: prehistory of such art, early software art and pre-computer algorithmic art. Check out a better source such as Neil Jenkins’ excellent garden of forking paths for some pointers.

1 Examples of praxis

1.1 Landscapes

2 Praxis yourself why don’t you?

3 I praxis myself

Maybe I should also do generative art with neural networks.

4 References

Boden, and Edmonds. 2009. What Is Generative Art? Digital Creativity.
Boulanger-Lewandowski, Bengio, and Vincent. 2012. Modeling Temporal Dependencies in High-Dimensional Sequences: Application to Polyphonic Music Generation and Transcription.” In 29th International Conference on Machine Learning.
Bown. 2009. Ecosystem Models for Real-Time Generative Music: A Methodology and Framework.
———. 2011. Experiments in Modular Design for the Creative Composition of Live Algorithms.” Computer Music Journal.
Brown. 2003. Generative Computation and the Arts.” Digital Creativity.
Ha, Dai, and Le. 2016. HyperNetworks.” arXiv:1609.09106 [Cs].
Holtzman. 1981. Using Generative Grammars for Music Composition.” Computer Music Journal.
Lehman. 2007. “Evolution Through the Search for Novelty.”
Lehman, Gordon, Jain, et al. 2022. Evolution Through Large Models.”
Levy, Di Giorgi, Weers, et al. 2023. Controllable Music Production with Diffusion Models and Guidance Gradients.”
Lomas. 2014. Cellular Forms: An Artistic Exploration of Morphogenesis. In SIGGRAPH Studio.
Monro. 2009. Emergence and Generative Art.” Leonardo.
Rohrmeier. 2011. Towards a Generative Syntax of Tonal Harmony.” Journal of Mathematics and Music.
Sorensen, and Gardner. 2010. Programming with Time: Cyber-Physical Programming with Impromptu.” In ACM Sigplan Notices.
Steedman. 1984. A Generative Grammar for Jazz Chord Sequences.” Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Whitelaw. 2005. System Stories and Model Worlds: A Critical Approach to Generative Art.” Readme.
———. 2006. Metacreation: Art and Artificial Life.
———. 2010. Space Filling And Self-Constraint: Critical Case Studies in Generative Design.” Architectural Theory Review.
Whitelaw, Guglielmetti, and Innocent. 2009. Strange Ontologies in Digital Culture.” Computers in Entertainment (CIE).
Zhang, Lehman, Stanley, et al. 2023. OMNI: Open-Endedness via Models of Human Notions of Interestingness.”