As per the last post, I decided to work with generative illustrations. Where the theme is something like “the Fantasy of actualising impossibilities through technology”. And, of course, I don’t have pencil compositions, or even drafts of what I want. Here are the two main reasons why:
1. GENERATIVE STUFF JUST… DOESN’T GO WELL WITH PLANNING
As summarised by Spittel, there are two approaches to generative art: a) have no results, and let the computer generate as you play around, and b) have a very finalised idea, only allowing little randomisation.
I wanted to go for a mix of the two: keeping a vague idea of what I want the overall form to be like, while allowing the computer freedom to generate the exacts of what it turns out to be.
But, intention probably won’t match up to action, because
2. IT REALLY DEPENDS ON MY PROGRAMMING ABILITY
I can draw decently well, but coding full-fledged physics is……. While I wanted to aim for something like Shvembldr and/or Nick Taylor‘s emergent, organic forms, I’m not sure that it’s possible at my current level. The most I can do is probably to work with basic elements, like lines and circles, and randomise their colours, positions, and sizes.
As such, it seems unlikely that I can find a way to code the piece to be particularly close to whatever I would envision. Still, I’ll outlaw patterned works like cccbtt, where I think it’s too structured: the point is to show off how amazing technology is, which is more evident when more complex functions like sin() is involved.
SO, TO START OFF…
After looking into different scripting languages, I decided to go with P5.js.
A FIRST “PENCIL” COMP (LINK)
As I’ve said, I don’t have pencil sketches, because it depends on how fast I learn. Instead, I just experimented wildly with codes that I learned, using random() and noise() on parameters like the x-y coordinates, or scale().
Here are some things I learned (or refreshed, it’s been a while since I’ve touched Java/Script) during the spring break:
From there, I picked out elements I liked, and tried combining them, or messing around even more. Half of this were not intentional, just that I didn’t really do object-oriented programming, so, uh.
I guess my first “pencil composition” would thus be something like this:
A SECOND “PENCIL” COMP
My second pencil composition tried to be more aware of the working style for generative pieces. Interestingly, there’s a sense in which coding is a “collage”, because you rarely write code from scratch: it’s usually about modifying other people’s codes to suit your needs.
As such, you’ll see that most of the practices here are based off codes that I grabbed elsewhere, like by The Coding Train: