I really like generative art, or so-called algorithmic art. Basically, it means you take a pattern or a complex system of rules, and apply it to create something new following those patterns/rules.
When I finished my PhD, I got a beautiful poster of where the k-nearest neighbors algorithms was used to generate a set of connected points.
My first piece of generative art.
As we recently moved into our new house, I decided I wanted to have a brother for the knn-poster. So I did some research in algorithms I wanted to use to generate a painting. I found some very cool ones, of which I unforunately can’t recollect the artists anymore:
However, I preferred to make one myself. So we again turned to the work of the author that made the knn-poster: Marcus Volz.
He has written (in R) many other algorithms. And we found that one specifically nicely matched the knn-poster. His metropolis – or generative city:
However, I wanted to make one myself, so I download Marcus code, and tweaked it a bit. Most importantly, I made it start in the center, made it fill up the whole space, and I made it run more efficient so I could generate a couple dozen large cities quickly, and pick the one I liked most. Here’s the end result:
And in action, in my living room:
You can find my code here on github.
8 thoughts on “Generative art: Let your computer design you a painting”
Did you upload the revisited script somewhere? Thank you
Sorry for the late reply. I just uploaded it to github: https://github.com/paulvanderlaken/generative-art/blob/master/metropolis.R
Interesting. Can you post your modified code?
Thanks for the interest Frank. I’ve uploaded the code to github: https://github.com/paulvanderlaken/generative-art/blob/master/metropolis.R
Thank you so much. I really appreciated it.
That’s great. I want to play around with the code but I don’t know where to run it, can you tell me? Thanks!
Hi Giorgos, you’d need to install the R programming language and preferably an IDE like RStudio or VS Code to script in the language