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I like to build algorithmic art. The piece of it I find the most satisfying is the tinkering. You create some code to create an image from some settings, and then you play around with the settings to find the most satisfying combinations of inputs. This process isn’t technical, it’s just an expression of pure exploration and aesthetic judgement.
A fun squiggly line for a
To allow everyone the joy of this kind of tinkering and discovery, a friend and I built - a platform for generative art. Anyone can upload an algorithm, and then anyone else can play around with it, no code needed.
An example input form where a user could tinker with an algorithm called ruffle.
We spent ~6 months part time working on it, and solved a plethora of hard problems. We figured out how to run untrusted code cheaply. We figured out how to build generic multipart forms. We figured out a cost structure to make sure we didn’t hemmorage money, and we built a lot of cool art.
An “explore” page on the abound site.
The platform didn’t take off in large part because we aren’t great at the stuff outside of building. Marketing and self promotion are not our strengths. Eventually, we gave up trying to make it happen, and just celebrated it for what it was: a gorgeous thing that we built and loved to use.
The site is still live, and you can explore and access it at Check out the instructions on the about page.
Happy tinkering!