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Genuary 2021 part 3: days 23 to 31

Days 23 to 27

The last few days of Genuary 2021… Following a day building on earlier and the another trying trying something new, I began work on an idea that I’d been sitting on for a while. Overall, I wanted to create generative art that explored ideas about the relationship between the future and the past. In particular, I’m interested in blurring this boundary. The music of Boards of Canada and the writings of Mark Fisher are big inspirations here.

For the most part, the image library is much more photographic now. I’ve played with the colours of the photos to make them look like memories. (Or rather, how photos can look like memories.)

Prompts:
#264653 #2a9d8f #e9c46a #f4a261 #e76f51, no gradients. 500 lines. Make a grid of all the permutations of something. 2D perspective. Gradients without lines.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 27 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 27 Run 02
ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 30 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 30 Run 02

Days 28 to 30

Having made photos look old, I subsequently wanted to make them look like something from the future. To do this, I used data-bending. Audacity (a fantastic, free sound editor) allows any sort of data to be edited as if it was sound. For instance, elements of the images in the output shown here (from day 30) have had reverb and echo effects applied to them.

Prompts:
Use sound. Any shape, none can touch. Replicate a natural concept (for example: gravity, flocking, path following).

Day 31

I’m a big fan of Oblique Strategies, which meant today’s prompt was a real bonus for the last day. In addition, the code developed the Droste effect that I’d started with on Day 30. This, coupled with “towards the insignificant” (the card I got from the Oblique Strategies), gives Day 31’s outcome (shown here)

A side effect of code is that the colour veers towards just blue and cream. Furthermore (and equally unintentionally), this gives a chrome effect that looks vaguely like a vision of the future from the past.

Prompt:
One of Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s “Oblique Strategies”.

For more examples of my Genuary outputs, as well as a day-by-day account of what I did, head over to the Genuary 2021 portfolio. I’ve also written a longer piece on LinkedIn about the positive effect Genuary had on my practice.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 31 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 31 Run 02

Posted by Alex Russell on 01 February 2021

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Genuary 2021 part 2: days 12 to 22

Days 12 to 16

Another set of runs where each day’s code was added to the previous days programme. During this chunk of Genuary 2021, I added a few new ideas.

Firstly, I’d wanted to experiment with using colour palettes created generatively. The system began by using musical data to define the colours. It then evolved into a method of using the colour theory of triads.

Secondly, I made repeatable patterns. Generally, my generative art actively avoids getting designs to repeat, but I wanted to try making some ones that were tile-able. The design here (from Day 16) is a block repeat.

Finally, I wanted to play with the illusion of depth by blurring different layers. The goal here was to attempt to recreate a photographic depth-of-field effect.

Prompts:
Use an API. Do not repeat. Subdivision. Let someone else decide the general rules of your piece. Circles only.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 16 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 16 Run 02
ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 19 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 19 Run 02

Days 17 to 19

The next few days coding tested out a couple of things I’d wanted to try for a while. To begin with, three dimensional cellular automata. I’ve used a lot of 2D CAs before, but was looking for an excuse to take them a bit further.

Secondly, I wanted to work with imagery that had a definite retro feel. In this case, I was after a mid-century modern feel. In particular, inspiration came from the wonderful design work of Lucienne Day.

Prompts:
Draw a line, pick a new colour, move a bit. One process grows, another process prunes. Increase the randomness along the y-axis.

Days 20 to 22

Further development of the MidMod (mid-century modern) idea. In addition, the generative systems over these three days starts to use recursive functions. This was probably the hardest patch of the month for me, coding-wise. I’m still not completely sure how one bit of it works…

The outputs also show further refinement of the colour palette development from days 12 to 16 above.

Prompts:
No loops. A recursive function involving 1/4, 2/4 and 3/4 of x. Draw a line; wrong answers only.

For more examples of my Genuary outputs, as well as a day-by-day account of what I did, head over to the Genuary 2021 portfolio.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 22 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 22 Run 02

Posted by Alex Russell on 22 January 2021

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Genuary 2021 part 1: days 1 to 11

Days 1 to 6

Genuary 2021 is an online challenge, where coders “build code that makes beautiful things“. To start, I worked on some ideas for a new ApeiroPattern collection, currently called AfterZahn. I drew almost everything with pencil, although there are some painted and collaged sections as well.

Generally, colour features prominently in my work. This is a fairly unusual foray into greyscale. I’m keen for the outputs to look hand-drawn, so keeping everything black and white helps the artwork retain the qualities of the pencil. By and large, making generative art that doesn’t look generative is an ongoing interest.

For the first six days of Genuary 2021, I added each day’s code to the previous days. Consequently, Day 6 (shown here) combines Days 1 to 6.

Prompts:
Triple Nested Loop. Steven Wolfram’s Rule 30 elementary cellular automata. Make something human. Small areas of symmetry. Do some code golf. Triangle subdivision.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 06 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 06 Run 02
ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 10 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 10 Run 02

Days 7 to 10

Day 7 began a new combination of code than ran until day 10 (shown here). This time, I began with some drawn and collaged work, made in a sketchbook. This brings a bit of colour in for the first time. Then, I made some dragon curves out of paper and photographed them. Code overlays these elements over the collages. Following this, pencil-drawn lines are arranged over the top. Finally, I applied shaded pencil trees to the last layer.

Prompts:
Generate some rules, then follow them by hand on paper. Curve only. Interference patterns. Tree.

Day 11

I recreated the very first generative artwork I made (I think). First, I randomly dropped a black circle, square and triangle onto white paper. Then I dropped right-angle of white paper, before placing a second right-angle to create frame. Finally, the photograph is digitally edited to just black and white.

Prompt:
Use something other than a computer as an autonomous process (or use a non-computer random source).

For more examples of my Genuary outputs, as well as a day-by-day account of what I did, head over to the Genuary 2021 portfolio.

ApeiroPattern generative art Genuary 2021 Day 11 Run 02 by Alex Russell (full image)
Genuary 2021 Day 11 Run 02

Posted by Alex Russell on 13 January 2021