[Aug 22 – Sep 12] Algorithmic Art I: 2D Interactive Visuals and Animation

This 3-week ONLINE COURSE is a hands-on introduction to algorithmic art. Using openframeworks, participants will learn how to create form, color, texture, and movement with mathematical functions and algorithms. But far from a math class, participants will be invited to experience functions as different brush strokes on a canvas, and algorithms as different creative processes, each evoking a different feeling.

[Aug 22 – Sep 12] Algorithmic Art I: 2D Interactive Visuals and Animation

Jason Levine
Fri, Aug 22 through Fri, Sep 12, 2014
Cost: $200 (members + students) $225 (regular)

Pay with PayPal or Credit Card on our Payment Page here

tenlegs-logoLocation: This class is held online, you need to have internet connection to watch videos and engage in the forums. Shortly before the class starts you will get a link with further instructions how to take part in it.

In collaboration with Tenlegs, a network for artists to connect, collaborate, earn and learn, Harvestworks offers this class as part of it’s online TEAMLab class program. Online means that anyone – and in any timezone – can take it and make it work with your schedule. Initially and throughout the course you’ll have access to video lectures created specifically for this workshop, a series of hands-on challenges meant to give you experience building your own artworks, and live sessions to ask questions, get answers, and go deeper with the material.

The class will run for three weeks. Video lectures will be released once a week, to be watched on the students own time. There are no mandatory days to be available, as long as you are able to keep up with the new material each week.


Normally, we allow the designers of applications to make the choices of how mathematics and algorithms affect our creative process.  A common way to create computer graphics compositions is by using a program like Illustrator or Corel Draw. The user points, clicks and drags to create forms, select colors and to apply transformations.  A common way to create 2d animations or interactive compositions is with a program like Flash. The user puts keyframes on a timeline and then tweens parameters such as position and colour of different elements in the canvas.   These applications arose to automate and improve existing art and design practices, so the algorithms were used as a means to an end. But in fact, the algorithms themselves are an art form, and learning about them not only allows you to create generative art, and new graphic design tools, but it allows you to go deeper into existing applications.

In this class we examen the simple mathematics and algorithms behind computer graphics and create work by experimenting with and experiencing the visual results of mathematics.  Each week there will be a new video and accompanying code examples.  The code examples will act as a reference and starting point for creation. Students are encouraged to share screenshots, video captures, and code online so that they can learn and be inspired by each other.



  • Week 1: Create
    Form, Color, Texture, and Repetition in openframeworks
  • Week 2: Shape
    Applying trigonometry functions, random functions, and smoothed noise functions
  • Week 3: Refine
    Adding Basic Physics, Xeno, and Tweening with easing functions


This course will be taught with c++/openframeworks. Some programming experience needed.

You need to have internet connection to watch videos and engage in the forums. You also need a computer with OpenFrameworks installed — you can download a free copy from http://openframeworks.cc

You’ll also need an IDE to edit and compile code. If you’re on Mac download Xcode from the app store, on Linux download CODE::BLOCKS here -> http://www.codeblocks.org/downloads, and on Windows download the free version of Visual Studio here -> http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34673

There will be several video lectures released each week. Students will need to commit 3-4 hours per week for watching them, going through supplementary materials, and doing some basic practice and implementation. But as in any art practice, you’ll get more out of it if you can make another 5-10 hours to practice more and create on your own time.

Prior to the class you may also log into tenlegs.com and create an artist portfolio: https://www.tenlegs.com/signup


About The Instructor

Jason Levine is a musician, performer, and creative coder. On a mission to bridge different artistic disciplines, he sees computation as a universal language for translating and communicating between different mediums. Inspired by improvisation, Jason focuses on the interactive and generative qualities of coding to create real-time software systems for live performance. He recently graduated from the first ever session of the School for Poetic Computation and nothing has been the same ever since ;)

Professionally, Jason works as a freelance computational poet, designing interactive visuals for Eryc Taylor Dance, Fragile Tension, and Fake Love; prototyping Kinect interactions for Harmonix’s new game Fantasia:Music Evolved; and directing a music video for upcoming electronic artist Alarke. He has  contributed to the CLOUDS documentary and to Zach Lieberman’s #devArt project “Play the world”.

In a recent past life, Jason’s time was solely devoted to performing. He worked extensively as a beatboxer/vocalist accompanying circus shows, street theatre, and contemporary dance. This work was presented notably at Siguientescena (Mexico), Danza-UNAM (Mexico), Pflasterspektakel (Austria), and at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. His work fusing performance and code was presented at ART&&CODE:3D (USA), Piksel (Norway), Carnival for e-Creativity (India), Festival de la Imagen (Colombia), Festival Eklectik (Montreal), and Videology…


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