Pixtil is a French textile design company that creates generative textile design patterns. Each time their program, called Génératif, is run, a unique textile design is generated, which can either be printed with ink or weaved (with each pixel representing the crossing of a warp and weft thread). The patterns are generated in Processing, and then converted to a binary file so it can be printed. There are some limitations on each series – for example, they might be different configurations of the same components, or they might have the same color scheme, or they might be symmetrical. From what I can tell, color is generated from within a specified range, and shapes are randomly generated, but have an algorithm that places them. For the symmetrical designs, perhaps 1/4 of the design is generated and it is then rotated accordingly to fill the other 3 quadrants?
The patterns (and the cloths that carry them) are often very lighthearted and carefree, and the artists’ understanding of textile patterns clearly makes its way into the art, as many of the patterns feel like they belong on fabric. The randomness is definitely implied – the algorithm doesn’t generate a completely repetitive pattern, but there is repetition in the shapes that are used. Each shape that the algorithm generates “matches” the others of that pattern. I applaud the artists for using code-generated art in a non-digital format – I’d imagine that it’s not that difficult to transfer the pattern to the loom once it’s generated, but it’s still an interesting application of generative art. More complicated algorithms is probably the next step for Pixtil – right now, the patterns feel very digital. But still a cool project!
Below is a video detailing an earlier design from 2013, and giving an overview of their project