TL;DR: With a fun algorithm, slight parameter tweaks lead to really different results, as I show in a work based on Elgar’s enigma variations.
A good piece of art compells you to understand the process that created it, whether it is the emotion of the composer, or the logic of the painter. A revlation while looking at a piece by Frank Stella made me understand the fundamental mechanism that was generating the work, and gave me confidence that I could recreate it.
Squares (with side of size 1), with two quarter-circles in opposite corners (with radius one-half), in both configurations, with space filling between regions, forms the basis of this work by stella.
After more time than I would like to admit, I was able to recreate stella’s work in the browser. There were so many minutia and little tricks that if even slightly off in any function, the code would mis-render the full piece. I came to enjoy these mis-renderings more than I enjoyed the final piece, so once it was completed, I looked to see if I could alter the rules slightly and capture different feelings/emotions with the results.
The results were so varried and interesting that I had to share them. Each had a personality I could never have tried to design. The overall impression each left was distinct, and the commonalites between them felt just as important as their many differences.
I ended up publishing a set of them as “VOATCSS” - Variations on a theme - a reference to Edward Elgar’s piece by the same name, where he paints portraits of his close friends through the stroke of a common musical theme. Similarly, each of the components of this collection were given a color scheme and parameterization that reminds me of a person that I cared deeply for.