Week 7 (Sep 24) – Final presentation of generative studies – Updated!


Final presentation and discussion of exploratory generative sketches.

10-15 minute presentations of your finished exploratory generative studies.

– How and why your initial idea(s) evolved through the development,
– Strong and weak aspects of the finished work,
– What you have learned in the process, and
– Everything else that was important to you.

Comments and notes


Sound/music, just like all other formal elements of an artwork, have to be there for a reason. The more meaningful and relevant that reason is, the more chance the final work has to be successful.

Continuous coloration changes in groups of particles is somewhat confusing and mainly aesthetic rather than functional. Coloration will make sense when you simply apply one distinct color to all members of each species.

It is good to be both respectful and critical with the works that inspire our creative projects.

As we go along, I will provide you with more examples on parametric and particle-based generative drawings/visuals.


General data viz principles, which come before coding or using any other specific formalization/visualization tool, are crucial for your project’s progress. So take another look at the titles I have posted for you earlier, and do your research online and in the ADM library. After the initial overview, select and concentrate on one resourceful manual and one monograph with examples.

For the various examples of visualizing emotions, look up Vibeke Sorensen’s works, and do your research online.

As we go along, I will provide you with more examples.


You were smart to “run away” at the end of class because with what follows I would have probably kept you in the lab for the following 30 minutes, ha ha!

My suggestion is to first work out and polish up the key technical/coding issues that we outlined together up until now, so you can continue experimenting without major tech issues. Of course, you will do the coding improvements as you progress.

Design your strategy by looking at your work in a broader context which includes not only the narratives, presentational design/media and interaction but also the overall logic/motivation for your work and its public presentation. Specifically, it is the deception and the playful subversion of the conventional approaches to designing and consuming interactive narratives.

Regarding sound, there could be several musical backgrounds, each matching the current narrative mood/position in the narrative. What could be the logic for selecting these backgrounds?

Another important factor is the selection criterion or criteria for the progressing narrative steps. Right now it is pure randomness which in itself does not carry much meaning. How about introducing some spicy/humorous inputs which determine the branching decisions? For example, these inputs could be some continuously and unpredictably changing data from online sources, like the stock market indexes or specific stock prices, various types of weather data, pollution data, various GPS data sources, etc. The specific type of this source data may be more or less witty within the narrative context of your work.
Here is an “ancient” media art example: John Klima’s ecosystm (cca. 2000), also here: https://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=41.

Also think about the presentational campaign strategy and the gameplay elements which will motivate the player to repeat the game, giving them the chance to notice that the same decisions lead to somewhat different unfolding of the narrative, and to try to figure out why. Teasing is your key strategy here.

Finally (at this point), you will want to include in your content some visuals which can change by the same criteria as your narrative.


In addition to sonic/acoustic qualities of your chimes, their visual and kinetic qualities are important parts of the overall experience, so take that into account in further planning and designing.

You need to include some more sound sources.

In order to create a complex generative dynamics, you need to pay a lot of attention and to invest some time in coordinating/calibrating all the mechanical aspects and factors of each individual chime suspension and of the whole system.

Add some external device which will initiate and sustain the interesting generative sound experience. It can be a mechanical device like metronome, or an electromagnet for more variable options of generativity. You can start with a mechanical device, and once you construct a well functioning system around it, proceed with an electromagnet which can be controlled by analogue means (potentiometer) or digitally through a microcontroller and sensors.


You can have a camera take a snapshot of a stone, than convert just the colors of its surface into different properties for sound generation. If you want to convert a visual 2D scan into a 3D “landscape” and then into sound, you can line-scan the image captured by video/photo camera, convert each scanned line through its RGB data into a 2D curve and feed these 2D curves sequentially to build a 3D wavetable (with or without the interpolation between each curve, depending on the scanning resolution), and finally to play the wavetable.

Another important point is on how to overcome making noise and generate pleasing sonic output by scanning. There are probably many techniques for this “harmonization” or “musification” of generated sound. I believe there is a way to achieve this by manipulating audio samples instead of sound synthesis.

Regarding these two points, I have no formal music education so I am wildly guessing here and probably there are much more elegant solutions. So you need to do your research to find and implement them within your system.

You can also consult with professor Ross – if you want to do that, please let me know so I can ask him to help you out. You can additionally consult with Philippe about that at his guest talk.

Su Yang

You need to design and publish online a clear and concise “official” introduction, and a ruleset for playing the game, preferably with illustrations.

Please make several short demo videos of the real players playing out different scenarios of the game, accompanied with step by step comments on the ongoing game. The comments can be done directly by the players, or you can overlay them in the postproduction.

In both the introduction/ruleset and in demo videos, you should outline where and how the space opens for generativity.

Please do this work during the recess and post it online, so it will enable me and for your colleagues to follow and meaningfully discuss the further progress of your work.


Generative Artwork

Respond to the topic: Surprise.

Some of the aspects to reflect on:
– What constitutes surprise?
– What determines its qualities?
– How surprise figures in different contexts such as the arts, everyday life, technology (e.g. in classical information theory by Claude Shannon), etc.?
– How does it figure in your own life and experience?
– Find out and explore other features of surprise.

Start with the final comments and notes on your exploratory generative studies. Do your research, shape up your reflections into a coherent concept and transform it into a work that engages a broader audience.

Taking into account what you have already learned about generative art, aim for clarity of learning through making, and for effectiveness of the finished work.

Compared to your exploratory generative study, this work should be more elaborate conceptually, technically, aesthetically and experientially.

You are free to choose any feasible medium: image, sound, text, video, animation, physical object/installation, web-based work, etc., or any combination of these.

The artwork can be analog or digital, interactive or non-interactive.

You have 7 weeks available for development (1 recess week + 6 teaching weeks) before showcasing.
Make a time frame.

Let your work evolve and improve as you progress working on it.

Develop the concept, make the initial sketch and a time frame with all important development phases, and present it all in class on Week 8 (8 Oct).

Document your progress weekly on OSS Process category. Your project updates are to be posted no later than 11:59 PM Wednesday before the next class.

Showcasing the work will be in the final Week 13 (12 Nov).

Work Study

Generative artwork preliminary consultations.