Purely Random Colour


Drawing-20060110-233251


Drawing-20060110-233338


Drawing-20060110-233838





The shapes are random. The colours are random. At worst I’m showing one in every three of these images.


Randomness gives good results far more often than it should. Is it the heuristics I’m coding in, or is aesthetics really random?


Time to start adding rules.


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Posted in Generative Art, Projects
7 comments on “Purely Random Colour
  1. ezra says:

    Randomness is aesthetic.
    I don’t think these are purely random, though.
    I’d be interested in seeing what heuristics you *are* working with. Care to share the code?

  2. Fun fact:
    If you have a pure random number generator, generating points on a plane, and you scale up the positions of the results, you can’t tell the difference between the original and the scaled version.

  3. joshg says:

    Statistically, your lines will tend to fill the middle more than the edges, assuming you’re picking random points within the margins as the endpoints. So the simple heuristics of “pick random points between the margins and draw lines with them” will tend to give things a nicely centered feel.
    For a simple mathematical analogy of why, think of rolling a pair of dice. Sevens are much more common than twos or twelves, because there are more combinations of pairs of random numbers between 1-6 that add up to seven. Similarly, there are many more combinations of random points within your canvas that will form a line passing through the center (or near the center) than there are random points that will pass a point near the edge.

  4. Justin says:

    Made me think of a recent article I saw about how Pollock’s apparently random generated paintings have surprising fractal structure. Found this (old) article on the subject but I think some researchers recently published about it.
    http://www.physics.hku.hk/~tboyce/ap/topics/pollock.html

  5. Rob Myers says:

    Justin – Yes, I love the fact that Pollock’s work has the same fractal dimension as natural scenes. I wonder if cognitive science can make anything of Rothko’s abstracts in terms of how they work on our perception?
    joshg – Ah, yes, that makes sense. I’m familiar with the dice bell curve.
    AC – Are random points fractal, then, or at least self-similar?
    ezra – The heuristics the program uses are “make the drawing frame rectangular” and “draw close but not too close, and straight but not too straight around the skeleton”. The heuristics I use are “overlapping shapes are good”, “too many gaudy colours is bad”, “some dots are good”, “some complex shapes are good” and “covering more than a third of the drawing is good”. I need to encode my heuristics into the program, as at the moment I’m cheating by acting as a post-processor. :-)

  6. MANIK says:

    You see firs two are not funy,I meen realy funy ,to laugh,but third one is funy.
    Why is that?Maybe we always see some kind of asociation in evwry shape(even asociation on process,not on things)and this conection make thing funy or not?
    Maybe this mass in third one remind on some broken shade?I don’t know,and,finaly it’s not important.But,yes :I find for example Marina Abramovich is so fucking serious in her last works that all that became incredible funy.Her best works,and she’s deadly serious about,which make
    this works more&more funy…etc
    MANIK

  7. MANIK says:

    Oh,yes:Marina Abramovich have(or it’s finished few days ago)Exh.in Gugenheim,or MOMA,I’m not sure.Btw.Zoran and Jasna are her good friends,and her ex husband was our friend(before he met girl who take care of him now,and told him useful stuf…like :”Don’t go in MANIK’S house!
    Cheers

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Purely Random Colour by Rob Myers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.