Picture Garden (1988)

A collage-generator from 1988, recreated for the web in 2014

Full Description

This collage-generator was an early example of using randomness to shuffle a finite collection of visual elements into an endless series of unique compositions. Since the original piece predates the World Wide Web, the 2014 online version encourages the viewer to enter a full-screen mode that completely hides the web browser interface.

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Artist Statement

I wrote Picture Garden on the Commodore Amiga in 1988. The Amiga was renowned for its graphics, but AmigaBASIC had no command to display bitmap images, so the visual elements in Picture Garden were formed programmatically from lines and irregular polygons.

This was my first use of randomness to create images, and I was sad to see it slip into obsolescence along with the Amiga. When it became possible to launch a truly full-screen Processing.js sketch from a web browser, I decided to bring Picture Garden back to life. The aspect ratio has been adjusted for today's widescreen monitors, but the chunky-pixel look of the 1980s has been preserved.

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