Week 4 (Sep 3) – RA 1 and Exploratory Generative Study idea presentations – Updated!

Presentation 1

Short presentations about Reading Assignment 1: Matius Watz, Closed Systems: Generative Art and Software Abstraction, 2010.

Share and discuss your response and reflections about the text’s themes, relevance, style and other aspects you find interesting.

Notes and Comments

Cognitive stimulation of generative art, especially analogy making, and ludic, proto-scientific experimental drive.

Importance of intuition in conceptualizing and developing GA projects.
Importance of systems in GA.
Additional reading: Jack Burnham, Systems Aesthetics, 1968. An essay on the poetics of Minimalism, early computer art and Conceptual Art in the 1960s and early 1970s, influential to contemporary new media art as well.
Sol LeWitt instruction-based art:

Trends, fashions and schools of thought in the arts, science and other socially organized areas of human creative work. It is beneficial for your creative freedom to be critically aware of these trends, but it is sometimes difficult to achieve.

In a broader perspective, the explicit or implicit unpredictability in GA rearticulates the intricacy of ecology, economy, personal relationships and everyday life. Less dramatically but more sensibly and often more meaningfully than global crises, generative artworks point out that our notions of permanence and coherence are useful delusions while uncertainty and instability are the fundamental features of nature. [This is from my forthcoming paper.]

The aesthetic quality of high artificiality (something that looks as it was not crafted by hand, and beyond that, by human in general).
This work by Refik Anadol aspires to achieve that: http://refikanadol.com/works/melting-memories/.
Here is Refik’s recent TED talk Art in the Age of Machine Intelligence

Su Yang
The value of well rounded and convincing logic of a generative system as a whole, and the value of creative experimentation through generative procedures by selecting certain interesting outcomes of the generative system and using them as a starting point for further creative work.

Presentation 2

Presentation of the ideas for exploratory generative study, and discussion.

Next class upon your progress presentations, we will continue the discussion on your projects initiated today.

Please make notes on the comments on your projects as we go along with the discussion.

Look up Bryan’s notes and suggestions below, in Work Study section.


Software tools for generative art.

We will integrate this overview in the class on Week 5, with several GA examples, and I will post the lecture summary with useful links at the OSS then.

Lecture Slides

An overview of artistically accessible coding environments and programming languages for generative experimentation, sketching, testing and complex project design. These include Processing, openFrameworks, P5.js, Pure Data, TouchDesigner, FFmpeg, Python and Godot, and the useful online tools such as Stack Overflow and GitHub. In addition, we will introduce online tools, platforms and cloud computing services for exploring and utilizing machine learning techniques in the development of generative artworks, such as ml5.js and Runway. We will address their advantages and trade-offs, learning resources and strategies. Using some of these tools, you will explore generative systems for processing various media and data types


Reading 2

Broad, Terence, Frederic Fol Leymarie, and Mick Grierson. 2020. “Amplifying the Uncanny.” xCoAx, 8th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X. Porto: 33-43.

In addition to Joey’s well-observed notes, this text represents some of the most recent practices in new media and generative art, in which the artists use popular techniques of modern AI.
Also, this reading is a paper from xCoAx which is one of important conferences and exhibitions on generative and new media art, with consistent quality of papers and artworks.
Here is a repo with all the xCoAx proceedings PDFs for your reference and inspiration

The assignment (same conditions as for RA 1)

Write your reflections in a short essay, around 250 words.
Use this experience as a warm-up for the main reading assignment.
Make a spontaneous but thoughtful response about the text’s themes, relevance, style and other aspects you find interesting.
No images, links or other references are required, but are welcome.

Post it to the OSS Research category by Week 6 (17 Sep).

Prepare a short presentation in class on Week 6 (17 Sep).

Work Study

Processing 3: Video

Processing Tutorial 3 – Video & Animation_compressed

Generative sketch consultations feedback


  • Interested to see your outcome!
  • particle generation on Processing examples: 
    • Simulate > Flocking


  • Processing examples that I think can be useful:
    • Simulate > Chain
    • Interaction > Follow (1, 2, 3)
    • Interaction > Reach (1, 2, 3)
  • You can use Unity if you want to try making it into a phone app


  • Concern with it being predefined pathways (solved: answer is no!)
  • I think good to first find the script that randomises the site outcome for you then the assets / narrative you can build over time
  • Saving function I’d imagine it can either be generating the outcome to a .jpg or let the web browser save the page as .pdf


  • Project sounds good and manageable! Just curious about what the constants / constraints will be within the enclosed environment


  • Sensitivity: Kinect may not be that strong and can be fuzzy, you can try the TCRT5000 Infrared Reflective Sensor and use it with Arduino
    • Example of usage: Eye Motion Tracking (application is not relevant to what you are doing now but using the same concept of using infrared light to precisely detect reflected light / distance)
  • Or you can use a camera with intense light and read pixel colour as depths + Processing

Su Yang:

  • Sounds like there’s a lot of variables involved so I think you have to focus on just a few to make the game less complicated. I agree (Dejan).

For those using Processing, you can check out TheCodingTrain’s tutorial on Arrays and Object Oriented Programming which can be helpful for mass producing objects like particles or pieces of growing plant.

Media Resource Booking System

I’d like to remind everyone that there is an online system where you can use to loan equipments or rooms. I’ve attached a written guide on how to use it also.

I’d also like to remind everyone that you can purchase stuff from SGBotic and claim from school. Links below.

MRBS link

IM Equipment List

Video tutorial on room booking

PDF guide on equipment loaning

Your one-stop station for equipment purchase: SGBotic

SGBotic claims document template