Final Project: Generative Alphabet Art


My project is a generative art piece where every letter of the alphabet produces a different kind of artistic command. Thus, by putting together letters to create words and phrases, and art piece is created that is a visual metaphor for the words that have been typed.
For this project, I chose to use what we learned from turtles to draw the image, because I felt that it would using a single turtle to draw everything would create continuity.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out with the time that I had. I think if I were to improve on this further, I’d like to implement a way for the user to “backspace” and delete previously typed letters.


Click above image to view gif.

Looking Outwards

Typatone, by Jono Brandel and Lullatone, is a digital typewriter that creates songs out of what you type. Every keyboard character corresponds with a certain note and tone. Words and phrases that are typed end up creating original, unique compositions of music.

Shapes, expanding / rising / rotating

Shapes, expanding / rising / rotating, by Lia (2012), is a series of compositions that are continuously moving and are affected by internal forces and user input.

These two projects, while very different on a surface level, both have a simple elegance that I hope to bring to my final project. I want to create an artwork that is entirely affected by what the user writes, similarly to Typatone, and that has aspects of continuous change and movement like in Lia’s Shapes. Both of these works are inspirational to me and I hope to create something that also generates unique artwork.

Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I’d like to create an interactive piece that generates a work of art depending on the keys that are pressed. Similar to Typatone where each keyboard character is attached to a different musical key, I want to write a program where each keyboard character is attached to a certain color and generative art aspect. By typing a lot of characters, the effects will layer on top of each other to create a unique piece of artwork. My main concern for this piece is whether my browser will be able to handle all of the movement that will be going on. Most likely I’ll have to institute some kind of character limit so that it won’t overburden the browser.

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Looking Outwards 10

Mimi Son’s Lunar Surface (2015) is a vertical flag moving back and forth with the wind. As it moves, it creates a fragile silk moon floating in the air. The silk is illuminated with digital light to enhance the effect. In the image above, the moon is recorded with long exposure photography to show the silk fabric in different positions, creating a voluminous form. The technological aspect of the work is that the the fabric is tracked by a 3D camera while a projector replays a response onto it according to its evolving shape. I think it’s very cool how this piece is very sensitive to time, and constantly changing and moving in different ways, allowing for a unique experience. (Also, it is mentioned that this piece is inspired by the novel 1Q84, a book that I read and enjoyed, featuring an alternate reality that has two moons in the sky.)

Mimi Son, born in Seoul, is an artist that works at the intersection of art and technology, with a desire to articulate time and space from various perspectives.

Looking Outwards 08

Deborah Lee – Looking Outwards – 04

Today, I looked at Deborah’s post about “Entropia” (2014, Louis-Philippe St Arnault, Nature Graphique, and Creation Ex Nihilo), an awesome installation and performance art piece that utilizes light and sound.
When watching this video, the first thing I thought of was the implications this could have for music concerts, especially electronic music or EDM concerts where there is typically a single artist standing on the stage and controlling the music. It would be awesome if the performer could control not only the music, but also have an accompanying light show that is interactive and generative and changes based on the sounds that are created.

I agree with Deborah that there is a very unique interaction between the performer, the audience, and the environment. And to add to that, I think that the way in which the audience views the work(by lying on their backs and gazing upwards) reminds me of viewing constellations or being in a planetarium. It’s unconventional but it really works for the piece, due to the structure of the room with its domed ceiling.

Looking Outwards 07

Nicky Case, indie game developer, talks about interactive storytelling, telling stories through systems. As a queer Asian man, his first indie game, Coming Out Simulator, is a video game based on his own life and experiences with coming out to his family and being queer. It is mostly dialogue and text based, but he explains that he didn’t intend it to be a click-through game, where you would just click through all of the text without really letting the story impact you. Instead, decisions arise for you to make.

I found the way that the game operates to be really fascinating, as instead of having the choices you make branch off of each other, they “broaden.” Every choice you make subtly changes the later story, and small changes accumulate. It is not overwhelming nor fatalistic, and is very forgiving and realistic. Nicky talks about how working on the game actually helped to change his own world view, by getting him to realize that making mistakes isn’t the end of the world, and doing a lot of small good things will eventually build up to build to a better future.

I think it’s inspiring that he is passionate about what he does, and lets his own life impact his work, and his work to impact his life.

His website: