Don Relyea 
Home | Don Relyea's Blog

Art Projects
Generative Video
Artist Info / CV

Blog 2005-2010

Don Relyea's Blog

I like to write about interesting art projects, so give me a heads up if you have new project and I'll write about it.

Don Relyea plain old photo
Don Relyea

Blog RSS Feed

Art RSS Feed

Music RSS Feed

Screensavers RSS Feed

Add my blog to your
Google home page

Add to Google

Chris Ashley
Tom Moody
BLDG blog
Walker Art Center
She Dreams in Digital
thinking about art
the generator blog
The Presurfer
Mike Butler
Erik Smartt
Chris Jagers
Paperback Writer
Mark Gould
m.d. mcmullin
accuracy and aesthetics

bombshell video art


Agendas Under Fire

Agendas Under Fire

110th assembly, worst ever!

110th Assembly

meret oppenheim
Meret Oppenheim portrait

digital phot reconstruction
Image Reconstruction

ready made glitch art
Ready Made Glitch

generative slit scan images
Slit Scan 3d Images

systemic sky
Systemic Sky

slit scan photography
Slit Scan Photography

monochrome generator

Monochrome Generator

Space filling curve art
Space Filling Curve Art

hair particle drawing

Hair Particle Drawing

Arts and New Media
Sect of Homokaasu
Roman Verostko
Jared Tarbell
Marius Watz
Juergen Schwietering
MIT Media Lab
ARS Electronica
Cory Arcangel
Philip Galanter
Roy Stanfield
Adrian Ward
Alex Dragulescu
generator x
database of virtual art
Blast Theory
Institute for Applied Autonomy
Bathsheba Grossman
Ariel Malka
Art Crimes
Buff Monster
the Yes Men
Kate Armstrong
Casey Reas
Media Art Net
Art Interactive
Electronic Arts Intermix
Suzanne G
Wooster Collective
ultra eczema
Kris Davidson
Robert Spahr
Thor Johnson

Mon, 21 Nov 2005

The Digital Postmodern Modernist Generator version 2.0
This project has expanded to explore automating the artist's design process in a lighthearted manner. Click here for the main project page.

A shockwave version of the art generator version 2 is here (opens in new window 38k) for your endless enjoyment.

First of all, automating the processes exactly that an artist does while creating a piece of artwork is nearly an impossible task. Artists typically are inspired by a variety of things and their creativity generally follows intuition more than a set process. Differences in how artists perceive their subject matter and the choices they make while rendering their works create endless controlled variations in output. The best we can hope to do with an computer emulated artist process is going to be an approximation of a set of potential artist creative paths that lead to a graphic result.

As we add logic to the decision algorithms, add chaos to the system and increase the set of systemic processes available to the emulated artist, the possible set of paths and subsequent results will approach infinity. It will by no means consistently generate better looking designs than a real human will, however it will generate good output fairly often and much faster than a real human artist can.

For the purposes of this project we will simplify the process to a set style of abstract modernist for now. We will focus on automating the color choices, subject matter, layout, image manipulation and the abstraction process in the digital environment using mostly processes that a digital artist would use. Digital processes in the digital realm are convenient since emulating actual drawing or painting processes would require robotics. If you are interested in algorithmic robotic art you should check out one of the very first artists to attempt algorithmic work using programmable eproms and crude robotics in the 80's Roman Verostko's work. I think the future of algorithmic robotic art lies in nanotechnology but alas that is another project. While the program generates abstract modernist looking output the overall concept of creating an automated artist process is somewhat of a postmodern concept, hence the title "Postmodern Modernist Generator".

The Process behind version 2 is different and better (at least I think it is), version 1 sampled bit mapl bitmap, version 2 is 100% generative. The first thing the program does is load a color lookup table of color palettes with 6 colors each (fig 1). Most of the color combinations are sampled from artist and color theorist Josef Albers works and works by other artists that I admire. However I fully intend to write a palette generator that will always select colors that work well together based on modern color theory like the web color selector at

fig 1

fig 2

fig 3

fig 4

final output

The engine then generates a 3d virtual world, populates it with primitive objects and assigns them shaders from the current loaded palette. This takes care of the general layout and also creates some volumetric shapes and lines that can work their way into the design. The program then extracts the image from the 3d objects (fig 2 above). A decision tree determines how the image is deconstructed and reconstructed (fig 3 above). The decision tree spawns graphic layers in memory much like layers in Photoshop and manipulates them before merging them into one image layer. This process iterates a couple of times randomly choosing various manipulation processes and blending effects then all resulting layers are then randomly assigned a stacking order and lastly they are merged ( sample layer fig 4 above). Finally rectangular shapes are drawn in the foreground and randomly assigned a blend and the process is complete(final output above).

When the graphic processes are complete the program assigns the work a title by combining a noun, an adjective and a random number attempting in futility to assign meaning to the work. While this is a trivial task to program it is an important step in the process of creating a modernist work since modernism seeks to make sense out of the senseless and impose meaning through art where there is none.

A shockwave version of the art generator version 2 is here (opens in new window 38k) for your endless enjoyment.

New gallery up! The Digital Postmodern modernist gallery 2! These 44 images were automatically generated in not a lot of time for your viewing pleasure.

Ace Earthly #109

Affection Muddled #469

Allegory Gaudy #777

Batch Accidental #647

[/art] permanent link   AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tue, 15 Nov 2005

Current Art Projects
Every now and then I get emails from people asking me whats coming next on my site. I have lots of ideas, but limited time. So I have to rank projects and maintain a rough project plan. Since art is my love and not my vocation the plan is flexible and priorities are shifted frequently, but this is basically what you can expect over the next several months.

Here is what is in the fine art pipeline:
Real Time Contextual Art Generator 1.1 update--lots of new features, almost ready.

Lo-Fi Art generator - 70% complete, the Postmodern Modernist was a tangent to this project. This will allow you to create "lo-fi" fine art out of any image on the web or on your computer.

Spam Poetry Art Generator - 50% complete -ever noticed all the nonsensical words at the bottom of your spam? They are generated by automailers to fool spam blockers, lets do something productive with those words.

Google sitemap art - data visualization project - 10% complete. Google has a service in beta to allow web publishers to let them know when your site is updated via an xml feed. THis is cool and is also a nice source for a data tree to use for a generative art project.

Research bio feedback systems and brainwave detection devices for interactive applications- ongoing project - 5% complete

[/art] permanent link   AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Mon, 14 Nov 2005

The Digital Postmodern Modernist Generator
New gallery up! The Postmodern modernist gallery! Forty-four images generated by resampling output from the Hilbert space filling curve algorithm. This collection of works is output from several generators. First, output from the Hilbert space filling curve generator is sampled randomly by an alpha version of the new "lo-fi" art generator I am working on that has taken a life of its own and become the "The Digital Postmodern Modernist Generator". That output is then sampled, resized smaller and then modified and resized larger for several iterations to create these images. Works completed November 2005. I could probably spend some time going into why a modernist art generator could be considered postmodern but I'll leave that to someone else. A shockwave version of the generator is here (opens in new window 99k) for your endless enjoyment.

8 Bit Violence

Orange Level 3

Full Time Killer

Rust in the System

[/art] permanent link   AddThis Social Bookmark Button



Elliott Back
HD Blog
DIY Live
Technology Review
Tech Dirt

Local Art:
and/or gallery
Dunn and Brown
Craighead Green
The Contemporary
Barry Whistler
Holly Johnson

Listed on BlogShares