Computing and art

In our November meeting we explored at how we could use the visual programming language Scratch to create interactive art. One of the key approaches to computing is to remix and reuse, rather than always start from scratch, so to speak, and so there is much to be gained from modifying existing computing projects.

Helen shared this collection of coding and art Scratch projects that we explored in the session.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 15.31.20We also looked at resources from Barefoot Computing on drawing crystal flowers and thought about how these might link with analysing Rangoli, Islamic or Celtic patterns, as well as with aspects of the maths curriculum.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 13.47.07Other webtools that can be used alongside this theme include the online image generator Mutapic and the interactive art tools Weavesilk and Beautiful Curves.

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Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 15.48.35Alongside these we looked at some of the amazing projects created using digital technology by artists that were featured in recent exhibition at The Barbican, Digital Revolutions.

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Generative art tool

Weave silk ( is a mesmerising generative sound and art tool that allows you to make spectacular kaleidoscopic effects exploring light, mirrors and symmetry with a musical accompaniment. It is free online. Find many examples on this Facebook page. There is also an iOS app version of the tool ‘Silk‘ (£1.99) or a free app ‘Perline Draw by Mojocat‘. with similar properties.

Generative art techniques intersect with computational thinking and offer a creative way to develop beginning programming skills. You can find over 100 short videos introducing generative art computer programming techniques on this Fun Programming site aimed at 11 year olds and above.

Or you could simply use the Weave Silk site to create digital art, thinking about mixing colours and a range of up to six fold rotational symmetry. The option to share the URL means that others can see an animation of how you created your image.