Generative Art and Mudballs

I have always been fascinated by generative art. I remember being intrigued by the Dadaist experiments and later Fluxus. When I was younger I played with creating art and music through different “systems”. I have recently come across a couple of sites online that are somewhat generative, but also allow some input from the user.

The image below was created using a very organic sketch tool from Odopod. What makes it somewhat generative is the limited palette and tools and the inability to undo or to change tool size. These limitations are part of what makes it fun and controls the look of the final product to a certain degree. I love the “old paper” drawing surface.


My second favorite online generative art tool is Dreamlines. It is based on keywords of a dream. I love to just watch it draw. I use a screen capture tool to capture the screens that are the most beautiful to me. Some are extremely abstract, others have the hint of objects or figures. You can read more about the process here.


Dream Kaleidoscope is also cool but I don’t like the random text.


Other tools I like to play with are on Zefrank’s site. My two favorites are The Scribbler and Flowers (aka Garden Maker).


And then there’s mudballs or Hikaru Dorodango as they are known in Japan. Seemingly opposite in nature to generative art and yet somehow something is strangely similar. It is through the relationship system of dirt, water and touch that these beautiful objects are made.The system is nature’s generational tool, our hands are the interactive part that helps shape the materials.

Placitas mud

Or maybe I’m just weird.


One Response to “Generative Art and Mudballs”

  1. your friend Says:

    of course you are weird you weirdo. thats why i love you. hugs from you pal, n.

    but p.s. i’m not sure how generative software art really is. it is programmed afterall by humans who make the machine, etcetera, but the point i’m trying to get at and will probably have nightmares over, is that the controls are set in the creation of the tool and thus the tools have limits which exceed the limits of play doh.

    please forgive, its late.

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