Computer Coding Exercise ‘Exodus’

I approached this exercise (which can be viewed through this link) with the works of Brandon Morse and Jared Tarbell in mind. In Tarbell’s ‘Substrate Algorithm‘ (2003), the fluidity of objective lines formed shapes that could be culturally interpreted as an urban structure (Tarbell 2014). Similarly, Morse’s work ‘Achilles‘ (2009) consists of a simple graphic that when interpreted through social and cultural meanings, represents the destruction of humanity (Capps 2009, Deleflie 2015).

To start off, I played around with the codes we ran through in class and through trial and error I found that through using the simple shape of an ellipsis, I was able to manipulate the colour, shape and repetition of the ellipses to move the objective shapes into a realm of meaning.

The social and cultural meaning I took from this sketch was an ‘exodus’, a wave of people moving forward, which made me think of the current global refugee crisis. This realm of meaning turned the shapes before my eyes into a wave of people moving slowly in one direction, no clear destination in sight.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.17.42

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.17.33

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.17.24

Screenshots from my dynamic sketch

I decided to make the sketch dynamic to capture a sense of movement. I initially had the dynamic sketch looping randomly. I decided this was too fast to create the effect I was after and then added the frame rate to give my sketch a slower pace. I also considered keeping the work still but I felt the slow flow of movement was more aesthetic and relative to the works that inspired my sketch.

Screenshot 2015-09-23 17.38.39

Screenshot of the code used to create this sketch (created on Processing)


Capps, K 2009, ‘Things Fall Apart: Brandon Morse’s Digital Demolitions’, Art In America Magazine, accessed 12/09/2015, available at:

Deleflie, E 2015, ‘Lecture 6: Generative Artworks’, lecture, MEDA102 Computational Media, University of Wollongong, delivered 3 September.

Fry, C & Reas, B 2014, ‘Fractal.Invaders, Substrate (Interview with Jared Tarbell) in Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists, pp135-136, accessed 12/09/2015, available at: 


About intersectionalalien

Hi hello people of earth/space/cyberspace, intersectional alien here. I’m still trying to figure out my place on this earth. I like intersectional feminism, feminism in popular culture, LGBTQ+, refugee rights, veganism, mental health, nihilism, travelling, unlearning institutional conditioning, good tunes and consuming and creating stories.
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