Generative Art in R: Physarium

Roel M. Hogervorst

2020/08/18

I don’t know how, but I stumbled upon this blogpost by Antonio Sánchez Chinchón (@aschinchon on twitter).

He is generating ‘random’ art by a generative process. It is using, as far as I understand it, a Conway game-of-life type of process where you start with a random initialization and the process steps in time and in every step values change based on neighboring cells.

As he writes:

a generative system called Physarum model, which simulates the evolution of a colony of extremely simple organisms that, under certain environmental conditions, result into complex behaviors.

And it is producing beautiful pictures like this one:

Beautiful image that Antonio calls The Death of a Red Dwarf

The code to produce these things is here. It is an R implementation based on a blogpost by Sage Jenson based on a paper by Jeff Jones.

I love these generative pieces! It is such a beautiful process with simple rules that deliver complex results!

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