IndeterminacyInteractive installation that gives users the power to create and share their own generative posters.November 1, 2018 · Make your own
John Cage, a pioneer of indeterminacy, defined it as "the ability of a piece to be performed in substantially different ways."
Friend and frequent collaborator Zeke Wattles came to me for help with an ArtCenter project - he was developing a generative brand identity for Dublab and as part of the experience wanted to enable users to produce their own generative posters. We took inspiration from John Cage's work to produce Indeterminacy.
Design as performance
The interactive installation allows guests to generate and output their own posters in realtime via a hacked dot matrix printer. Rather than a singular event poster, a controlled set of parameters allows for infinite graphic variations with a user’s personal message.
As a departure from John Cage's work, users are invited to consider typographic characters as an integral part of the output.
Using p5.js, we create a grid of squares. As we generate rows and columns, the amount of "indeterminacy" or "entropy" increases. We allow users to control the experience with some simple form controls.
In consideration for how people share creative expression, we include a dropdown for common output sizes that would suit social media, print, etc.
We also allow users to easily download their work as a raster image to share immediately, or a vector if they want to remix further with their own tools.
For users who might not know where to begin, or want to explore the possibilities and limits of this tool, we include Remix and Randomize buttons.