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VOAT

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.
An output of the VOAT program
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.
An output of the VOAT program
An output of the VOAT program
An output of the VOAT program
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.