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Home | Gadgets | Micro Modernist Art Generator Google Gadget

Micro Modernist Description
Add a Modernist Art Generator to your page. Micro Modernist generates a unique modern art image for you every time the page is loaded. Click on it to generate a new image. Billions upon billions of variations are possible. The Micro Modernist requires the Shockwave plug-in and a customized Google Home page.

Click on the button to add the Micro Modernist Art Generator to your Google home page.

Add to Google

What are Google Gadgets?
Gadgets are Google's effort to open the Google home page to developers. Basically you can turn most html or javascript apps into gadgets that users can add to their personalized home page. Most Gadgets are tools that you can use to see weather or perform some kind of task.


I am not trying to make useful tools, I get to do that at work every day. This is more of an experiment than anything else, to mostly to see if anyone would put generative art on their customized Google home page and also to promote awareness of generative art.

For those curious, below is more information on what is happening inside the Micro Modernist Art Generator when it is generating a piece of art for you.

How does The Micro Modernist work?

The Micro Modernist Google Gadget generates a unique Modernist art image every time your Google home page is loaded. Gadgets are Google's effort to open the Google home page to developers. Basically you can turn most any html or javascript application into a gadget that users can add to their personalized home page.

add to google

The Micro Modernist is a small applet that can be added a users customized Google home page .You can click on the applet to generate a new image. Billions if not trillions of variations are possible. The Micro Modernist weighs in at a whopping 40k including the applet and the code used to deliver it. The Micro Modernist is the first art Google gadget. It has over 19,000 users since its debut in June of 2006 all with virtually no promotion.

gadget screenshot

Google gadgets are wrapped and delivered to users in XML and can be inlined or cached in the users browser. Adding a gadget to your home page is as easy as clicking a button. While the gadget is hosted on my server and delivered via google it is cached in the users browser to avoid unnecessary network traffic. If I update it, I can modify the xml to push updates to the users.

The Micro Modernist was created to further awareness of generative art and also as an experiment to see if the Google Gadgets program is a viable method of delivery for new media art works. Yahoo and others have similar programs that could be equally exploited.

While the Micro Modernist is a complex applet it has not even scratched the surface of what is possible with the gadget API, it is merely a first step. The APIs have expanded recently to allow for richer client server communication affording the net artist a myriad of networked possibilities.

The Micro Modernist contains a limited AI which automates the color choices, layout, image manipulation, abstraction and titling all in about a second.

Josef Albers studies for Homage to the Square

Color choices are automated by referencing a color lookup table of color relationships that work. The color relationships are derived from sampling the 7 most prominent colors from a variety of sources. Prominent Artists works are sampled like Calder, De Kooning, Matisse and many works from noted Color Theorist Josef Albers, also random images from the web.

nature color schemes
actual images downloaded from the web and used in color scheme database

Nature is also a good source for color relationships that work so I downloaded some pretty pictures.

The algorithm generates a color scheme much the same way Adobe Kuler works, it plots the relationships as rgb values on an internal color wheel, apples a rotational offset and extracts a new set of rgb values with the same relationships. In this way color options are nearly infinite but usually work well together. After a color scheme has been chosen, the applet creates shaders from chosen colors. It then creates a 3d world of primitives and assigns them the shaders. This creates an arbitrary volumetric space to be abstracted and expands the color depth of the source image.

gadget sequence

A 2d image is then extracted and run through a variety of systemic and procedural process for abstraction. Virtual layers are created, assigned a stacking order and level of opacity then they are merged.

Lastly 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 final 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.

The Micro Modernist is based on the Postmodern Modernist Art Generator. The Micro Modernist has been accepted into the Rhizome Artbase!