Making art with code

Not all code has to be useful. A few lines of computer code can make something beautiful.

Add a few more lines, and the same codebase can make infinite combinations of beautiful shapes and colors.

This project, called New Midwest Magic, is inspired by the rolling hills of the Tallgrass Prairie.

It was also a great chance for me to learn some intermediate javascript, and dip my toes into the world of creative coding and longform generative art.

Visit the live project here. Refresh the page for a new artwork. Right-click (or long-press on mobile) to save a PNG of the generated image.

It should be noted that I stand on the shoulders of giants to be able to make work like this. Folks like Tyler Hobbs and Robert Hodgin have introduced me to some of the concepts, but their inspiration goes back decades, to pioneers like Vera Molnar, Anni & Josef Albers, and even abstract artists like Hilma af Klint and Wassily Kandinsky.

With a dozen color schemes, five major shape configurations, three minor shape configurations, and two background options – there are more than 360 possible designs generated by this one small program. And with infinite variations possible in the peaks and valleys of the rolling hills, this little project really does feel like Midwest magic.

For a more in-depth look at generative art, check out Artnome: Why Love Generative Art?