Monthly Archives: November 2016

Conference Project Proposal: Wave Clocks

My conference work derives from the wave clock code. For my project I am working on putting together a collection of wave clock sketches that vary in color scheme and presentation. My ambition is for each sketch to capture the elements of its name in color and feel. Currently I have five different sketches titled Pineapple, Saltwater, Greyscale, Moth, and Sarah.

For the color pallette of each sketch I used Adobe Kuler, an online library of color schemes of five, to find color combinations that suited the aforementioned keywords. Choosing the correct color combination was an essential part of the sketch since color helps control the emotion and life of the presentation. In order to get a real feeling of pineapples or saltwater, the best color combination needed to be coherent, relevant, and telling.







Each sketch, with the exception of Moth, is essentially presented in the same format. Several wave clocks are in the center of the screen while the background has different elements that add to the name of the piece, either as animated or stationary shapes. The background is one of the few variables in these pieces that changes from each sketch, and so it relevance to the overarching theme of the piece is crucial. For example, in its early stages, Saltwater’s background consists of ebbing arcs which are reminiscent of waves. For Sarah, dynamic red lines reach for the waveclock in the center of the screen, complementing the vibrant red color scheme of the sketch.







What is important to also keep in mind is that the background parts must also complement the wave clock, which is the dynamic centerpiece and so naturally is the center of attention. If the background components and the wave clock do not mix well, then the piece will feel contradictory or imbalanced, contrary to the ambition of coherent themed wave clocks. With Greyscale one can already note that the background elements, which are blocky and static, do not go well with the fluid diaphanous qualities of the waveclock in the center. These will be tweaked to create a better overall feel. As with most generative art projects I have worked on this semester I am always open for the unexpected and expect some interesting qualities to occur randomly.


Conference Project Proposal: Abstracted Interaction

For my conference project, I am making sketches that are in response to Kazimir Malevich’s works entitled: Suprematist Composition. My initial pursuit of this project was inspired by my attraction to art that involves geometric qualities. Malevich’s paintings fully encompass this perspective on art, using abstracted shapes to create a work that is externally appealing despite imperfections.

The original purpose of painting was to create a likeness to something real and tangible. In Malevich’s own way, he evolved this way of thinking and stepped out of this uniform style of perceiving art. He wound up spearheading an abstract art movement in Russia which he called Suprematism. The way he places his shapes on a canvas are never symmetrical on either side, he thinks outside of the box but still manages to create an aesthetic of his own.

Malevich Original Malevich Original 2

For my first sketch, I will be coding Malevich’s work above on the left. Then, to make it my own, I will give it an interactive quality. For my other four sketches, I will be creating sketches that are in response to Malevich’s abstract movement. His color palette and use of shapes particularly stand out to me so in my own way, I will be reflecting these aspects of his work. In regards to the viewer, each of my sketches will either have interactive qualities, animated qualities, or both. I intend to make my work an experience for all who witness it.

There is something  satisfying to me about the use of shapes in art and even with Malevich’s imperfect positioning of these shapes, I still get this feeling. Referencing the Galanter reading, the section discussing the balance of chaos and order very much feels relevant to me in regards to Malevich’s work and the way I want to make my responses. In his series, Malevich creates a very uniform style, you can see a painting and know if it is Galanter or not. Still, within each installment, he directs the placement of his shapes in a way that makes a viewer take a while longer than a realistic painting to process and comprehend. Your eyes want to keep looking for more details to make more observations.

After the artist presentation for Vera Molnar, I became very intrigued by her use of shapes as well. Just as Malevich does, she creates her own style yet also plays around with chaos versus order. You can look at her work or Malevich’s work and think that they are simple, shapes, simple, repeated color palette, simple, but the way they approach their work reveals the subtle system of randomness. With different size shapes, different colors, different positions, variety in shapes, all make each work unique.

As for my intentions for my work, I plan to make them all look aesthetically similar. I want to showcase one style perceived differently in each sketch. I intend for my sketches to look good but good despite their chaos. As I continue with this assignment, I want to force myself to think outside of the box. I tend to over-plan but for this, I want the moves I make with the code to come naturally. If I make a mistake, I want to let this mistake alter my vision and take me down in a different path.


variables: will help me to screen wrap and make my sketches interactive.

color: will help me create a sort of aesthetic among my pieces.

functions / interactivity: will help me create a more interactive display for the viewer.

animation: will be used to add more randomness to the pieces.

loops: will set my sketches apart from malevich’s work, it will bring the shapes to life more.

axes: will be necessary to position some of my shapes.

noise / variance: will help add more chaos and randomness to my sketch.

My progress is as follows…

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Conference Project Proposal: Iterative “Painting”


Heat Scan, 2016

Since my very early days of using Processing, I’ve been interested in pushing the program to its computational limits. There is such satisfaction in getting the computer working, with its fan running hard and the feeling of it heating up, the danger of it crashing at any moment. It seems like I’m gaining some control over the thing. So often the computer as a piece of machinery is removed from our experience. We see its screen and its content blends with our own cognitive space. This has always been very disturbing to me. I just don’t feel comfortable with this illusion that the computer is an entity or a domain beyond my bodily control. It is just a clunky silly thing made to look so absurdly sleek on the outside.


Cut Canvas, 2016

So, in my coding, I’ve found satisfaction in using these basic, shortcutted drawing functions we’ve been giving (rect, ellipse, line) in their smallest, most basic form (that being at the size of one, maybe two pixels) and as much as possible! I like these swarms and smears of little things because once I get close to manipulating actual pixels on the screen, I feel like I’m working with an actual material and I don’t feel so removed from the computer’s hidden operations. So, for my conference project, I’m basically going to be making CPU intensive, iterative “paintings” in an attempt to develop a more bodily, sensuous, less alienated relationship to my laptop.

My early work is probably the best guide for understanding where I’ll be going with this. Heat Scan (above left) and Cut Canvas (above right) are the prime examples, and Interlacing and Wing relate to a lesser extent. These sketches were actually all built off the same initial code, that of Heat Scan. I built a custom function that loops tiny rectangles of varying colors along the height of a five pixel-wide “colorbar” that wipes across the canvas. The fill colors are responsive to the loop’s iterator h so that there is an interesting color gradation along the height of the colorbar. Background is not called in the draw function so that the colorbar prints or paints itself along the canvas’s width. Once it reaches the canvas’s limit, it screenwraps and lays another layer of itself over itself, with slight variation (actually unnoticeable if you’re nose isn’t to an HD monitor). It’s a simple thing, but that’s why I was able to draw so much out of it. For the rest of the semester I’ll be pushing it further.

A couple ideas I have: first and foremost I want the differences between each layer post-screenwrap to be more apparent. To achieve this perhaps I would start alpha values very high and gradually reduce them each go-round so that we don’t simply get the new layer totally obscuring the previous. I’ve already experimented with using multiple color bars in Cut Canvas, but I would like to experiment further. Interlacing was also a valuable experiment in that I found I could achieve interesting results with a gradual change in background color rather than colorbar. Wing was the first time I tried using different shapes with the colorbar loop (ellipse and line). Departing from my previous efforts I want to experiment with image processing. Perhaps there’s some way to use another sort of scanning bar that will gradually displace the pixels in a jpg loaded into processing. This would move my work away from pure abstraction, which I would be happy about. I also want to try using the push and popmatrix commands to add layers to my work. Lastly I’m very interested by opacity in processing. I find that opacity really makes things look good, but I want to experiment further with how it actually functions.




Skywiper, James Hoff

Artists I’m looking to for inspiration include Gerhard Richter (above left), who does an aesthetically similar “smear” thing with actual paint, James Hoff (above right), who makes digital “paintings” that are actually prints of images that have been infected with computer viruses. I’ve also been paying attention to Callum and Shengluo’s work over the course of the semester, as they both have a way of working with code that is much more logical than my own. Shengluo’s Spooky sketch and Callum’s Alive Again sketch inspire me for their advanced technicality, organic animation, and affectivity.

Ultimately this project should lead to some nice looking things. More importantly I think it will point me in a lot of interesting directions to be explored in the future. The greatest challenge might be to keep my focus on the initial code and really “stay true” to it for the sake of the coherence of the final body of conference work. I do want my five videos to really work together, speak to each other, and complicate each other. If I keep to the initial structure of a “colorbar,” which I think falls squarely in Galantner’s generative art definition (the colorbar is a fixed form moving in a fixed manner but the information encoded in it varies), but simply add on the new tools we’ve learned to use then I think I’ll be good.

Conference Project Proposal: Nature + Code

Perlin Escape (2011) Holger Lippmann

For my conference project, I am interested in recreating elements of nature using Processing. As we further dissected the definition of Generative Art, I found there to be a close relationship to GenArt and nature itself. Both follow set systems of rules, yet are also full of unpredictability. By using Processing, I’m curious as to how I can utilize its tools of controlled randomness to resemble the various aspects within nature. For instance, my sketchbook consists of loose, random drawings of what came to mind when I thought of nature. I wanted a lot of variety such as curves, noise, harsh lines, detail, looseness, etc.

I was greatly inspired by some of the work I had studied of Holger Lippmann for my artist presentation at the beginning of the semester. Though I chose him at random, I felt a very strong connection to his work and felt it represented a lot of my interests as an artist. His work is full of structured randomness, and that’s something I’d like to use within my conference project. For instance, his works titled NoiseWave IX really caught my attention. While using the same shape over and over, Lippmann was able to create beautiful designs of abstract oceans and beaches. This is where I got the idea of nature from for my conference project. I wanted to create work like Lippmann’s: purely digital that also resembles realistic beauty in the world.

NoiseWave IX (2015) Holger Lippmann

I look back on my Night Waves sketch for Projector Night. It’s as if Night Waves is a baby step towards all I would like to accomplish with this conference. I’ve learned a lot since then, and I hope to expand on the tools used within Night Waves such as noise and variance.

Night Waves (2016) Kaili Aloupis

Night Waves (2016) Kaili Aloupis

I was inspired by “Wing” by Jack Colton, “Waldorf Sun” by Garret Hsuan, “Membrane” by Moyna Ghosh, “Down the Rabbit Hole” by Nabila Wirakusumah, “Jellybean Solar System” by Meghan Sever, and “Rainbow Cetology 1” by Wade Wallerstein. Their sketches provided me with insight into the relationship between design and realism that I would like to incorporate into my own sketches as well.

When viewing my work, I hope to express both the world of design and the natural world. I want both to be clearly present in my sketches. When people see it, I want them to think, “Wow, that was made with a computer?” I want it to have all the positive aspects of the digital and natural. It’s also important to me that I represent my artistic aesthetic and positively express that to the viewers. I want to share my style, as varied as it is. I have a lot of ideas I’d really like to see through, but in the end I will be picking the 5 best.

Ocean (2016) Kaili Aloupis

Ocean (2016) Kaili Aloupis

I want my sketches to be looped, so at any instance a viewer could jump in and watch without losing the essence of the sketch. For example, I’d love to create a puddle with rain drops falling onto it and creating ripples within the puddle. Using randomness and perhaps mouse-click interactivity, I’d love for rain drops to appear smoothly one after another, or a few at a time. I love the idea of interactivity, but I don’t know if there is room for it in most of my ideas for this conference project. Animation is of course essential. I want the flow of my sketches to be smooth and tame, much like that of nature, for example water dripping off flower petals or the tide on the beach. Variance and noise will be important throughout my work because I feel that helps represent the realism I’m going for. I’ll also be utilizing my own functions throughout my work so as to make the process easier to change at my leisure.





Because I want my sketches to maintain a certain realism, I’m a bit concerned about the amount of detail put into each sketch. I’m still unsure as to “how much is too much”, so along the way I hope to find that balance. In true GenArt style, I always start with an idea in mind but the end result is far from anything I had ever imagined.

Conference Project Proposal: Don’t Forget to Blink

The idea of optical illusions have fascinated me for a long time. Tricks of the mind when you’re seeing something different than what actually is. Our brains make assumptions to make sense of the information from the eyes, and sometimes it has trouble because the depth or the colors confuse it. There are illusion of depth, illusions of color, and illusions of shape.

Vega-Nor c. 1969, painted by Victor Vasarely

Vega-Nor c. 1969, painted by Victor Vasarely

For my project, I’m taking a very influential optical artist, Victor Vasarely, and recreating and manipulating some of his most interesting pieces. Optical art was a movement in the early 1960’s, and Vasarely stood as the patriarch of that. He had began experimenting with optical illusions in his art in the 1950’s and was featured at the Museum of Modern Art’s show “The Responsive Eye” in 1965 with many other acclaimed optical artists, where he received his first bit of notoriety.


Vasarely and other optical artists like Bridget Riley have been influential in my coding of generative art. I really only stuck to coding in black and white and grayscale because it suits me more; however, after researching the optical art movement and really getting interested in depth in a 2-D image and movement in a static piece, I started experimenting in color in my sketchbook drawings and Processing sketches. conference3

Coded in early October, 2016, Kelsey Copley

Coded in early October, 2016, Kelsey Copley

Coded in early November, 2016, Kelsey Copley

Coded in early November, 2016, Kelsey Copley

Using certain colors gives off the effect of movement, just like in the checkerboard image above.  There is very high contrast between the levels of green and blue with the black and white. All it required was a few loops and a little color experimenting, but it had a very effective result.

My intentions and hopes for this project are to make anyone that sees my images stare, have to look away for a second, and then not help but look back again. Every single blink of the eye causes the image to change, and your brain will never see it the same way again. I hope to convey the simple concepts that come with making these pieces and the complexity of the results. There is not much information complexity at this point, no noise, no animation, the most complex it gets is the color change, but what will happen if I do add some noise? Take an image that looks like it’s moving and really make it defy expectations. I’m already surprising your unconscious brain, how about I throw in a few surprises for the conscious?

Recreating an artist’s work that was originally painted on canvas is no easy task. It requires control of a lot of different variables, and although, the concepts used to recreate some of Vasarely’s work aren’t difficult, they aren’t that straightforward to replicate either. Below, in the code of this piece, I used variables and Apple’s Digital Color Meter to get an appearance of a gradient in color. In other attempts at recreating Vasarely, I used arcs and a lot of loops. Vasarely uses a lot of circles in his pieces, so I’m constantly the ellipse function in ellipse. Overall, I think color is a very important part of Vasarely, and experimenting in color has been a big lesson for me in coding.

Coded in late November, 2016, Kelsey Copley

Coded in late November, 2016, Kelsey Copley

My conference project is not what I expected, but I’m pretty okay with it at this point. I didn’t feel inspired just replicating another artist’s work, but once I thought about it as using Vasarely as inspiration was when I started to sit down and really enjoy figuring out how to code his work. It’s not done yet, but I know my final project will end up exactly what I want it be.

Conference Project Proposal: Replication of works by Fred Tomaselli

Fred Tomaselli

Inspiration from Fred Tomaselli,created by Saloni Patel, 2016screen-0467

My conference proposal this semester focuses on an attempt to replicate the works of Fred Tomaselli in my own ways. This idea came about gradually over the semester as we were working on ellipses.

I found a fascination in drawing ellipses into my code and wondered how I could bring this idea into a conference project. After several conferences with Angela, she helped me discover the brilliant artist, Fred Tomaselli. I found that a lot of my previous works had been somewhat similar to his sketches.

Most of Fred’s works have intricate detail and small shapes and patterns that when looked from afar, creates a beautiful image. I challenged myself to try to use his works as inspiration to create beautiful coding patterns that might reflect my own style into it as well.

I am using the ideas of loops, steps, noise, increments and various colors in my code. These concepts are all inter-dependent to one another, which means that all these concepts have a smaller role to play in the animation process of the code.

Created by Saloni Patel, 2016

Towards the end of this semester, I hope to create five 3-minute movies, that show an attempt towards using Fred Tomaselli’s work as inspiration to my interest in coding ellipses and making movies. I am currently in the process of replicating some more sketches of Fred’s, and covering them into movies.

Created by Saloni Patel, 2016

Created by Saloni Patel, 2016

These movies are made with the hope of appreciating the designs that can be made with just a few lines of code.

Conference Project Proposal: First Impressions



My project focuses on the works of Lothar Quinte, a German painter. One of his well known pieces is found on an album (First Impressions of Earth) by The Strokes, which is also one of my favorite albums. First Impressions is the third album of The Strokes – it’s much angrier and angstier that their other albums. The album serves as a stepping stone from their post punk sound to synthier rhythms. When I was younger the album art reminded me of guitar strings. I chose Quinte’s artwork (and First Impressions of Earth) because of his different variations of the same paintings. Most of Quinte’s paintings are also untitled. Despite this, they all feature bright yellows, reds, blues, and black in one variation or another. I was also inspired to choose art inspired by lines and geometric shapes due to our artist presentations on Vera Molnar and Bridget Riley. Even though their pieces seem simple, their use of lines and shapes is captivating and complex.


I selected five of Quinte’s paintings: Blue Fields, III (1963), Ohne Titel (1965), Untitled (1965), Ohne Titel (1969), and Ohne Titel (1973). Each of them are, in one way or another, variations of each other. When I first perused Quinte’s work I noticed the simplicity of vibrant colors. The pieces did not seem incredibly complex. However, if I looked closely there is more going on in the background – especially in Ohne Titel (1965). On the foreground it is seemingly just a red canvas with two diagonal white and black lines. If you look through the red canvas you can see different lines and circles. When I recreated this work I used alpha to make sure that these lines and circles in the background were still included yet hidden. Even in Blue Fields, III it seems like there are only three blue rectangles – if you look closely there are almost 24 rectangles. At first I thought that I should apply a gradient to adaptation because of the fading color. Again, when I looked closely Quinte is careful in making sure the lighter blue stays in one rectangle and the darker blue stays in another rectangle. Even though most of his work seems simple there is a lot going on in Quinte’s pieces. To quote Philip Galanter’s classroom definition of generative art, Quinte’s work “uses a system…which is set to some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a completed work of art”. Despite not programming his artwork, Quinte uses a system of preciseness so that if the viewer looks closely they will see how carefully planned each shape is.

The goal of my project is to re-create and animate Quinte’s paintings using what we’ve learned in class. I used variables, loops, noise, and colors. My final project will have five 3 minute films based on Quinte’s artworks. I intend to uphold Quinte’s vibrancy but want to complicate his artwork more. I chose his work not only because of his use of lines and geometric shapes but because his artwork was featured on one of my favorite albums. I feel the same connection that I felt with First Impressions that I do with his work. I am reminded of listening to Julian Casablancas’s disconnected lyrics while waiting for the school bus to take me to a dreary, suburban middle school. This project was somewhat nostalgic and I am excited for the end result.


Conference Project Proposal: My American Life

The background for my art piece will consist of old, black and white photographs acquired from flea markets and thrift stores around New York state. An image of the artist will be added to the photos inconspicuously.

Using Processing, graphic shapes and lines will be added on top of the images, forming ‘accumulations’ of sorts on top of the subjects. As the accumulations progress, the subjects will be obstructed, changing the narrative of the photograph.

Visually, this work stems from an interest to combine photographic images with drawings and  abstracted graphics. Previous explorations into the combining their contrasting visual elements together have focused on creating cohesion between the two types of imagery.

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(L: 852 Series “Ladies Market”, R: Empty Series “Fleetwood” both mine)

For this project, I don’t have much of an interest in creating cohesion, instead I want to see the photograph engulfed in the coded visuals.

As it is my last year at Sarah Lawrence College, I naturally find myself wondering about the next chapter in my life. The recent election also has me thinking about my place in this country; how I fit in, and whether or not I want to stay. My family and I have always oriented our lives towards America. Though we have always lived around South East Asia, most of the films, TV shows and culture we consume is American, and my parents’ goal has always been to send me here for higher education.

Through this project, I am physically inserting myself into American family pictures and into the standard of “normality” that Pop Culture asserts the American family life is. I am interested in the different visual effects that can be produced by coding on top of the images, and how these accumulations will grow and alter the photographs. While I think the background in this work will be highly important, I believe that it is the coded imagery that will really change the story of the photograph.

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(L: by Barbara Kruger, R: by John Baldessari)

Though I knew I wanted to incorporate photographs into my coding project, I wasn’t sure where else it would go aesthetically, or even what the message would be. At first, I looked to Sonia Sheridan, as she creates generative art that using photographic scans of herself. However, I decided to move away from manipulating the photographs themselves and create generative sketches on top of the photographs instead.

I then looked to John Baldessari, particularly his dot series. I was interested in how the simple graphic shapes obstructing the faces of his subjects changed the narrative and spirit of the images. With their faces covered by dots, Baldessari marks them with anonymity and creates distance between them and the viewer. While the colors are bright, I do feel as though there is an almost sinister, cold feeling to the now-faceless subjects. Because of this effect, I decided to focus my codes on the faces in the photographs. I hope that as the code progresses and the graphics accumulate on their faces, distance will be created between them and the viewer.

I also looked towards Barbara Kruger’s work, particularly regarding style and aesthetic. With simple use of red bars and white text, she writes short, declarative statements across the photographs that make a strong statement to the viewer and forces them to redefine the context of the imagery she uses. I intend on only using black, white and red as well to evoke the same emotional intensity that Kruger’s work has. She also uses photography and imagery that feels iconic and classically American, which ties nicely into my goals for this project. 

The code will exist in the foreground of the piece. While the background provides the framework and context, the code is what will fulfill the goals of the piece and of course turn it into generative art. I anticipate that I will keep all, if not most, of the code in red, to stand out from the photograph and create cohesion between the pieces. While I want their form to vary from piece to piece, they will all be made with some noisy incrementation that allows the forms to accumulate and grow with the frame count.

It is important to the piece that the faces of the subjects in the photographs are obstructed by the code, so I would first need to be aware of the placement of the drawings, and the degree to which the noise will spread. To do this I’ll probably have to map coordinate points to orient my drawings to, by measuring the photograph out on Photoshop. Once I have the points from which I want the sketches to begin, I can also set up margins or axes to limit where the code spreads to.


Of course, because this is generative art I don’t want to restrict my code too much. It already will be generative in that I will be creating systems that dictate where these graphic images will show up and how they will look like, and by virtue of the noise function these images will change each time they’re generated. But I also believe that, since these graphics elements are growing, unlike Baldessari’s, the mood or narrative given in the story is also somewhat out of my control. As I decided to insert an image of myself into the piece, I wondered if I should intentionally create a separate .PNG file of myself to layer on top of the code, so that no matter what I wouldn’t be obstructed. But I believe that who and what the code obstructs, though guided at first, could end up changing and the effect may be something worthwhile to see as a generative artist. In short, while I am purposely seeking to change the narrative of these images, I am curious and open to see what the system turns it into.



These are two ideas of what these graphic accumulations will look like, and how I want them to evolve. For the spirals I will definitely be using loops, first to increment the amount of noise in the spiral, then later to draw the lines themselves. I also will keep the alpha on these spirals very low in order to not overwhelm the drawing right away.

For the sketch idea that starts with rectangles, I was inspired by Callum’s piece, “Alive Again”. His seems to have some 3D aspect to it, but I anticipate my sketches will stay within the 2D realm, to keep with my aesthetic goals.

I did experiment with creating more dimension in my conference work earlier, taking advantage of transparent .PNG files and editing a background code as well as a foreground code.


(Sketch using transparent PNG to code in background)

As of right now I’m still considering creating a piece in this way, if it manages to still cohesively work with the Barbara Kruger-aesthetic I’m aiming for.

Something I’ve struggled with this during this class is having my sketches change over time, and not stay stagnant. My earlier pieces definitely didn’t change drastically over a longer period of time, and I took a lot of inspiration for this project from Jack Colton’s pieces, as I always felt like his code did a good job accumulating and changing over time.

Conference Project Proposal: Boolean Oceanography

For my conference project, I plan on coding sketches of a vibrant, technicolor virtual aquarium/ocean using the techniques of noise, variance, dimension, and animation that we learned in class. Using vector drawing, I have created a series of different aquatic animals – including whales, jellyfish, and the ocean sunfish. By animating these drawings and inserting my own fill and stroke parameters, I will make glitchy, generative animations of ocean life that combine the biological and the digital, the technological and the environmental. My conference project will blur the genres of immersive virtual environment and glitchy, generative animation. While I have not mastered or fully represented either field, my conference project will land somewhere in the middle.


Since I was a little kid playing video games on a GameBoy Color, I have been fascinated with the concept of virtual environment. The idea of rendering something that could exist in real life on a computer screen blew my mind. Since then, my studies have brought me into contact with artists like Pipilotti Rist, Petra Cortright, and Lilian Schwartz. Pipilotti Rist creates vivid, completely immersive environments using digitally processed video projection instillations. Her work blurs the line between the organic and the technological. I draw a lot of inspiration from the immersiveness of her works and the aesthetic vibrance. Petra Cortright is a famous net artist from the 00’s. Her command of interconnected web portals, distinct style layering images over each other, and creation of fantastic digital ecosystems (especially HTML ecosystems)  have also heavily influenced my work. The idea of the blending of the living and the machine, and the life within the machine, was an idea originally constructed by Lilian Schwartz, whose early computer artworks set a precedent for all future digital art works. Her work revolves around the idea of the life within the code, and the human body’s relationship to the machine. Apotheosis (1972) is perhaps the most sublime work in this exploration. Using computer recorded images from within a radiation chamber, Schwartz animates a human body undergoing cancer treatment. The body cannot live with this barrage by a machine which kills the deadly cancer cells, but it is simultaneously being destroyed (healthy cells are destroyed in the process). In terms of coding style, I have been heavily influenced by Kaili Aloupis, whose out-of-the box coding style helped me to expand my thinking of how I could work with the code. Garrett Hsuan command of the code helped me a lot in terms of logical thinking and technicality—I learned a lot of code logic from studying his work.


Still from “The Tender Room” (2011) – Pipilotti Rist


“System Landscapes” (2007) Petra Cortright


“Ice Mess” (2009) from New Landscapes series – Petra Cortright

Stills of four of Lillian Schwartz's animations

Stills of four of Lillian Schwartz’s animations

Different aspects of my conference project are heavily disordered, whereas other aspects are heavily ordered. Each video in Boolean Oceanography falls into a different category on Gallantner’s Generative Art Systems chart. “Cnidaria Medusozoa” is highly ordered. Each jellyfish in the sketch follows a defined path and increases in size at an exact rate. Randomization comes in in the color. Each time that the sketch repeats, there is no exact same color produced. The interesting part of this sketch, for me, is that despite the fact that the colors are never exactly the same, the sketch looks the same each time that it runs. Despite randomization, there is still uniformity. The level of disorder increases in “Aurelia Aurita 1”. Here, size, shape, and location are given parameters but are not plainly defined. Every other frame, the animation shifts and each time the size, shape, and location of each individual jellyfish location changes. Like “Cnidaria Medusozoa,” each time the sketch runs its different from the time before, however the ultimate effect is the same.

Still from "Rainbow Cetology 1" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Rainbow Cetology 1” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

Still from "Rainbow Cetology 2" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Rainbow Cetology 2” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

Where the disorder becomes more palpable is in “Rainbow Cetology 1”, in which random colors, locations, and dimensions are generated to create a diverse field of made up of varying versions of my whale sketch. This kind of work relates to the randomization that Gallantner speaks of in artists like Elsworth Kelly and William Burroughs. This kind of work falls into what Gallantner describes as the narrow art historical definition of generative art: “a form of geometrical abstraction in which a basic element is made to ‘generate’ other forms by rotation etc…” This is where my project is limited, and where if I fail I might try again. My project is highly ordered, and controlled. This is validated though, by Gallantner’s assertion that even “an art practice that uses a dynamic complex system to create what is ultimately a static object or recording is still generative art. As is, for that matter, works resulting from the use of simple generative methods,” (Gallantner, 9).  Though my work produces somewhat static drawings, they are created using complex systems which produce random and unforeseeable results and thus my work is generative. A further exploration of Boolean Oceanography would include more attempts at giving more autonomy to the system. Right now, the title of the project represents my own technical limitations. Boolean (noun) is a binary variable, having two possible values called “true” and false”. Most of my sketches run based on this principle of “if not this, then this”. This kind of binary logic runs throughout my sketches and is a major theme. Were I to continue on with this project this project, I would attempt to expand this logic to include more parameters whenever possible.

Still from "Rainbow Cetology 3" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Rainbow Cetology 3” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

Still from "Cnidaria Medusozoa" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Cnidaria Medusozoa” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

In terms of my code, I relied heavily on the logic of size and direction control. Using the equivalent of “true” and “false” terms, I have been able to animate creatures that go across the screen over and over again. Using the random function, I have been able to randomize color and location in my sketches, as well as add random noise values into my sketches. In “Aurelia Aurita 1”, I have used variance to warp and distort my sketches, and noise to make them move about in a jumpy, twitchy manner. At each step, I have added noise to further distort the images. In “Rainbow Cetology 3” and “Mola Mola” I used dimensionality to create rich, textured backgrounds that vary and are perhaps the most generative aspect of my sketches. These are the places in which I have handed over the most autonomy to the system. In each of these, vector drawing paths have been augmented using noise to create a non-linear path across the screen. Each sketch in Boolean Oceanography contains custom functions which determine the location and direction of my vector drawings. In “Mola Mola” and “Rainbow Cetology 3”, these custom functions set up the basis for the drawing of the elaborate, noisy backgrounds that I have described. For my own personal process, I find the use of axes to limit what I can do with my sketches and instead, for the most part, set x and y coordinates manually. For future progression of this project, I would add interactivity to change the way the viewer engages with the sketches. Right now, each sketch is not very interactive; however, I could see adding mousePressed and keyPressed to have the viewer create the rainbow whale stripes or other vector drawing locations within the sketches.

Still from "Mola Mola" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Mola Mola” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

Still from "Aurelia Aurita" (2016) - Wade Wallerstein

Still from “Aurelia Aurita” (2016) – Wade Wallerstein

Right now, I expect the viewer to engage with my sketches as escapism—think Ecco the Dolphin meets Cory Arcangel meets the digital equivalent of a chainsaw. I aim for my sketches to be personal, and connect with my viewers. Some of the sketches almost feel like self-portraits. For example, I see a lot of myself in the ocean sunfish that moves across the screen in “Mola Mola”. I have recently been following a series of commissions done by Rhizome called “The Download”. In this series, different artists create a body of work that is then zipped and able to be downloaded by the viewer. In essence, this project turns the desktop space into the gallery space. Similarly, I see my work connecting in viewers’ own intimate spaces in this same way. Alternatively, I can see Boolean Oceanography projected in a single room, each sketch projected on to four walls so that they all overlap each other. The contrast between my technicolored sketches and my black and white sketches, in addition to the contrast between my jumpy, unnatural movement sketches and smooth, flowing, organic movement sketches should make my viewer reconsider what is natural and bring attention back to the medium. Ultimately, I want to turn either my viewer’s desktop space, or a small room that they are in, into a digital ocean.

Conference Project Proposal: Scratch Lag

For my conference conference I will be recreating frames and exerts from the experimental film ‘Scratch Pad’ (1960) by American photographer and experimental filmmaker/animator Hy Hirsh.

Here is currently the only available online footage from ‘Scratch Pad’ that I will be working from:

I’d be using techniques we studied in the course to create a greater sense of liveliness in his work and also blend my own style that has developed through using Processing . Here are six frames from a brief online exert of ‘Scratch Pad’ that I will recreate in Processing and use as a basis for my conference project:

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screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-24-09-am screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-25-03-am

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-24-35-am  screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-3-25-51-am


I think this project would be an interesting way to demonstrate how  the unconventional tools and techniques in early film/animation of 20th avant-gard artists  for creating unpredictable abstract media would translate into modern computing that was created for the same purpose and could relatively achieve the same outcome.

My interest in experimental film and animation  was what drew me to Hirsh as an artist because he was among the first filmmakers in the 20th century to incorporate electronic imagery into film. Hirsh experimented by using tools used in the film and animation industry of his time in an  unconventional environment with other forms of media in order to create unexpected visual results. He  would create randomly generated patterns in his films by using superimposed oscilloscope patterns printed through colour filters and ‘Scratch Pad’ utilises found-footage and graffiti with superimposed closeups of metallic structures to create the impression of 3D sculptures.

I think Scratch Pad, and Hirsch’s other works, could be considered as generative art because the patterns are created depending on how the material Hirsch uses effects the film which could make them autonomous because the process is unpredictable and out of the control of the artist. I think his work is also very relevant to what I’ve studied about “noise” because we’ve used noise in processing as a means to create natural imperfections and progression in our generative drawings and Hirsch’s goal for his films is to create expressive unpredictable shapes that change over the course of its duration to create a sense of liveliness for the viewer. I hope to achieve this same outcome for the viewer so that they can experience liveliness through unrestricted generated patterns.

However, my main concern for this project is that the final result may not contain the same kind of raw expression and results as Hirsch’s film because the patterns generated in Processing will be predictable to me as the artist whereas Hirsh’s  circumstances were more accidental.However I think where I have the advantage is that processing can create the same effects that Hirsh strived for without having to use the same tools he had that aren’t at my disposal, such as an oscilloscope.

I tried to create similar scratch patterns from Hirsh in my sketchbook. For the first sketch I pressed onto the paper very hard with a dry pen so as to create imprints on the paper, or scratches, and then traced the surface with a pencil. This resulted in somewhat faint but textured white lines with a contrasting textured background:



For the other sketches I used a white colour pencil for making the imprints and then drew over the surface with charcoal. The white lined patterns were much more defined this time around and the fragility of the charcoal made it easier to the capture the imprints without having to push down too hard on the surface of the paper.

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I incorporated some of the shapes and patterns from my own programs to Hirsh’s scratching style:

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I really enjoyed this process because I felt there was a sense of control I had to give to the material since I could not see what I was actually drawing until I applied the charcoal but it felt more natural that way since generative art requires the artist to relinquish some control in order to give the art-piece autonomy.

As well as figuring out how I can incorporate my own programs to Hirsh’s ‘Scratch Pad’ style , I also looked towards the other students in the course and the artists they presented to the class for inspiration. I thought Moyna’s movie ‘beam’ created a very mesmerising effect on the viewer because of how the white lines around the the gyrating red beam move so fluidly whilst intertwined chaotically with ease. I also find it interesting how the lines in her movie are coming from different directions all at the same time to create unique pattern, which I think would be an interesting idea to apply to the horizontal and vertical chaotic line patterns in ‘Scratchpad’.  screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-16-01-am           screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-41-58-am

I also thought some aspects of Sonia Sheridan’s photography were very similar Hirsh’s approach to film in terms of how she tampers with the development process of the photograph in order to create new generated forms that transform the image.


There is also how  both artists use media to distort form such as how Sheridan superimposes her face onto the image with photocopier where as Hirsh mainly focuses on industrial landscapes and structures to create a less literal form. I may try to experiment with both these artists methods of distorting form in order to see how they may compare or contrast in practice.

I would first code my sketches by using “loops” as a means to create the shapes and patterns in ‘Scratch Pad’ with the same colour schemes as the frames in the film. However the shapes  in the patterns all vary in form and none of them are symmetrical so I will be creating them through vertex shapes so as to give the impression that they are hand drawn and not generated by a computer. I would also use “for” to create some of the more finer details in the patterns such as the grainy dots that appear in the frame or random tears that resulted from Hirsh tampering with the actual film. For incorporating photography I would use the ‘image’ function to apply my own photographs into the program and see how the generated patterns could interact with the photograph.Once I have completed my still sketches my next step would be to animate them into a loop so as to capture the same vibrant movement in ‘Scratch Pad’ and apply more dimensions to them to create the same textures and spatial relationships of the patterns.

Conference Project Proposal: Flower



My conference work for this semester is a series of processing art work about “Flower.” The idea of “Flower” first came from one of my “Random_Continue_break” homework, called “Daisy.” I would like to show different styles of flowers and gardens by using patterns and code.

Personally, I really appreciate Vera Molnár’s works, especially her “(Des) Ordres” (1976). I love the combination of well ordered shapes and some little peaceful variations in her works. Well-ordered works make me feel comfortable and relax, and few well-organized alterations turn the works more vivid and rich. Like Matt Pearson descried his raggedy line in his book “Generative Art: A Practical Guide Using Processing”: the line is less controlled, yet not so chaotic as to be useless*. I want my works look like this.

In the “Flowers”, both the flowers and the backgrounds parts will be animated. The “flowers” part will mainly use random, continue and break to make, a little bit noise may be used as well. This part will present “not-so-randomness”. For the “background” part, different pieces will use different active mode, including noise, variance and dimension. The reference of most color themes in “Flower” will be Adobe Color CC**.



I believe that the “Flower” will look great. I have 3 complete works so far, and they are “Growing”, “Origin” and “Windy”. Using “Origin” as an example, the green patterns in the background are presenting the roots of plants. Root is the original part of a plant, so I named it as “Origin”.

I will keep working on the other two works of “Flower.”


A part of “Windy”_Shengluo

* Page 56, Pearson, Matt. Generative Art: A Practical Guide Using Processing. Shelter Island, NY: Manning, 2011.



the code and “Growing”_Shengluo