Interactive & Motion

One-a-day Challenge to Create Generative Art with Processing

Over the holiday break, I was introduced to a new form of digital making called generative art. Also referred to as algorithmic art or computer art, this type of work produces visual art in a digital format through a programming language called Processing and can be interactive, animated, or static.

Generative art is a practice where the artist “creates a process, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention, which is then set into motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a completed work of art” (Wikipedia, n.d.).

SIDE NOTE: My sister got me into this. You should follow her daily drawing postings from @_madsquirrel on Twitter.

I’m reading Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers, by Casey Reas and Ben Fry, students led by John Maeda, published in 2014 by the MIT Press. The book is written well; it is primarily a textbook, a good resource text with a lot of exercises and practice code. It has proved to be incredibly helpful for understanding basic and intermediate concepts of the processing language. And, although, I have some background in coding already (python, html/css, and some javascript), I think it is a good beginner resource for those who may have little to no experience in programming languages.

You can download the free software from the website here to set up your working environment:




A Catalyst for Change: An Examination of Citizen-driven Placemaking (CDP)

Citizen-driven placemaking (CDP) can be defined as residents of a community taking ownership of public urban space and repurposing it for their own benefit or need using guerrilla tactics. Examples of CDP can include a range of urban interventions from temporary to permanent installations and activities, among other ephemeral occupations.

CDP provides an opportunity for citizens to be activists in their community, creating meaningful places driven by their needs rather than government agencies or developers who may not understand the intrinsic needs of that group.

The benefits of these interventions can include beautification of blight, city “improvements,” artistic interventions for self-expression, activism and/or politically charged occupations, among others. Often, with sophisticated communication and technology, these interventions can evolve into global movements, thus becoming a catalyst for change.

In this research, we begin to categorize types of CDP projects by examining characteristics such as motivation, practice, tactics, and outcomes. Through the examination of multiple case studies, we are able to summarize findings and learnings.

Examples of Placemaking

Moving Forward

This research will be presented at the Ninth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, March 12-14, 2015.


Mapping Moments with Design Inquiry: An exhibition of experimental mapping opens January 10

About the Show
Maps are representations of a place in time. They are often subjective of the cartographer. In many ways, mapping is a format for discovery and documentation. My work attempts to explore the relationships between the map, the process of mapping, and the cartographer.

This show maps points of intersections of the small island of Vinalhaven off the coast of Rockland, Maine over the course of a week from June 23-29, 2013 with Design Inquiry. Video capture, photography, personal journal entries, and conversations across place and time are overlaid to make interesting connections with time-based information. The result is a series of subjective mapped moments from the lens of the artist.

Mapping Exercises

Video Capture
Sample of slowed down video capture used to examine the activity of the secret garden in Vinalhaven. Activity was discovered and documented.


Exhibition Details

The exhibition will run from January 10 – March 2 at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis TN.
Monday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1–5 p.m.

Channel 5 News will feature a morning segment on the exhibition at 8:00am, January 11 with artist, Cat Normoyle.

Gallery Photos


Gallery Exhibition, There isn’t much we can do, review

The MFA gallery reception on Thursday, April 19 featured work from artist Cat Normoyle. The reception, held at Welch School of Art & Design Galleries, was a great success, exhibiting a collection of work that challenges perceptions of neglected areas of urban community.

There isn’t much we can do showcased work from a series of camouflaged signage distributed in neglected areas of Atlanta. The installation, created by means of DOT signs, chalk drawings, and blackboards recontextualizes neglected spaces by creating provocative, questioning phrases and pairing them with particular urban environments. The addition of new meaning in these specific settings may change perceptions of these spaces and promote productivity in otherwise static environments. The work on display will be a mix of photography, projection, and actual artifacts from the project. Unlike other urban art projects, this investigation is a response to opinions and insights of community members, primarily from Kirkwood, Edgewood, and Inman Park, which were involved in the process from conceptual development to execution. From questionnaires and interviews to exit reviews and community observations, the content was all inspired by people in the community.

Creative Loafing: Culture Surfing – Community Vacancy shows signs of design