Rethinking Climate Change Awareness, Generative WebAssembly Music, and Exploring Differential Growth

#007 - Generative Arts Weekly

"Curiosity is the main energy..." - Robert Rauschenberg

Here in the US, we just celebrated Thanksgiving Day, but with this unfortunate year, many of us have not seen our family due to restrictions, lockdowns, etc.

Yet, there are always things that we can be thankful for on top of our family and friends. For me, it is technology, programming languages, and the ability to create works that would have lives of their own and hence why I am putting together this newsletter.

I’m also thankful for the diversity we find on earth. As we have seen throughout the last decades, we are in a time where our consumption has taken over beautiful areas throughout the earth that were once lush and have been turned into farmland.

It would be sad if we aren’t careful to have destroyed too much of it, and the coming generations cannot see the beauty it has.

One thing that I have been thinking about over the past month is how we can use generative art to illustrate the importance of addressing climate change. It is easy to spew numbers, but the general public may not completely understand it’s brevity.

It isn’t even a question of intelligence; it’s a question of so what? We can rely on emotion to promote awareness, and it can be effective. However, it may not be enough of a catalyst to make a change.

So the question is, is there a way to better illustrate these issues?

Can we trigger change and use the creativity that we have to develop innovative improvements that lead us to a cleaner and cooler earth?

These aren’t easy questions to answer and are difficult to solve without effort. First, we have to come to terms with it and help parse the political aspect of the issue and help inform the personal impact on us as humans. We won’t change it tomorrow, but we can at least continue to emphasize and help

Below I’ve highlighted an article that addresses this issue in a particular way. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Are there ways that we can help?

Leave a comment

I’ve been working with grids and trying to replicate some of the work of various artists I admire to become more proficient and spur more creativity. Below is the code that I worked on this week in Processing:

Check out the caption link for the gist to the code.

If you are interested, I have added some of the experiments that I have done in the past year in the link.

I hope you have a great week!

Chris Ried


Hau Kun

I've been having a ball going over the work that Hau has been posting on his Twitter account. I've found that with the character limits of a tweet; he has generated complex sketches and I'd recommend you reading through his code. There are interesting shortcuts in order to generate the work that you will find in the clips below.

Twitter / Webpage


🖌️ Unconventional Media

WebAssembly Music

Been playing with computer music since the 80s from the tracker era to modern soft synths and DAWs, and even writing some myself. Recently as WebAssembly came along with excellent performance, and AudioWorklet technology in providing low latency audio, it's finally possible to use the web for serious music production. As a programmer I like to use a programming language for expressing the music, and also for synthesizing the instruments. I compose my music in Javascript and create my instruments in AssemblyScript which is compiled to WebAssembly. It's all running in the browser. You can write the music in a live coding-environment, and you can play and record the instruments with a midi-keyboard.


Attached is Peter’s work on Github.

📸 Generative Graphics

Drawing Attention to Climate Change With Interactive Generative Art

Finding creatives ways to put climate change in the limelight is essential to motivating the intensity of participation that delivers action. There are different ways to do so — from drawing attention to climate change at major events including Davos 2020, through to visualise the consequences of a warming globe with the help cutting edge data science and it’s interactive generative art.

🚤 Motion

Controlling an Unreal Engine Particle System with Twitter

There is little to be seen here in terms of the technical breakdown of the piece. Yet the concept, though we see it in a number of different applications such a

🔖 Articles and Tutorials

Exploring Differential Growth

Though we may not be able to know for certain the exact mechanisms of these real-world processes, we can digitally simulate their behaviors through careful examination of their effects and speculating on the fundamental rules at play.

Some Thoughts on Generative Art

Generative art is made by a process that has some level of autonomy. The role of the artist is to design or influence this process to some degree. This process can be any number of things, and as such it is not limited to the digital realm.

Perception Machines

A visual overview examining the ability of neural networks to create abstract representations from collections of real world objects. An architecture called perception engines is introduced that is able to construct representational physical objects and is powered primarily by computational perception.

City Generator - Procedural City Generator

Today we are looking at City Generator, a tool for quickly creating cities using procedural generation. We then look at how to take the output and create 3D levels in Blender.

Procedural Crystals in Houdini

Recently, I finished my procedural Crystal generator with Houdini and Unreal Engine 4. The inspiration for this project was from Kurt Kupser, he created a tutorial for shaders in UE4 on Artstation Learning. In the tutorial, he shows how to set up a shader for crystals. The tutorial starts with preparing everything, this includes a crystal model. The normal approach to making a crystal would be to sculpt or model it by hand. I felt that you could get this crystal in a more procedural way, so that was the start of this project.


Create Abstract Digital Paintings w/ Processing

This class will show you how to create abstract digital paintings, random image grids & collages using pre-written code that runs in Processing. That's right! You can begin to develop an understanding of the power of programming without learning how to program.

You will work with PNG images that will create color and abstraction and masks that will generate transparency in your project. This means you can edit and generate the basic images in Photoshop, Illustrator, or even paint applications.


I've taken the list of generative art books that I posted last week and put it into Github. If you want to contribute, fork, create a branch, and submit a pull request, and I'll have it added.

OpenFrameworks Essentials

openFrameworks Essentials is a guide that can be used for learning and using openFrameworks to develop creative and artistic real-time applications. It is a fast-paced tutorial that begins with installing openFrameworks, and then takes a step-by-step approach towards using openFrameworks to build a video synthesizer project. We will investigate and implement features such as 2D and 3D graphics, GUI, shaders, reaction on sound, the OSC networking protocol, and the Arduino.

Please send me your inspirations...