ActivePixels is an application designed by Andrew R. Brown and Daniel Mafe, and programmed by Brown. It uses generative processes based on cellular automata-like rules relating to colours in a grid formation.
Building on a history of uses of the grid in visual art and especially in the paintings of Mafe, ActivePixels provides an interactive pallet for the creation of computational art works. It creates generative animations that can iterate around a single set of rules or morph between rule sets over time. It also includes rule-based musical generation algorithms such that the same grid-based data set is used as the basis for visual and musical output, with each changing in real time as the data set is transformed by the rules.
Mafe and Brown have exhibited works over a number of years created using this software. The work has been supported by the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design and the QUT Computational Arts Research Group. A paper titled “Emergent Matters” outlines the collaboration and was published as part of the Speculation and Innovation conference proceedings in 2006.
Mafe, Daniel, and Andrew R. Brown. 2006. “Emergent Matters: Reflections on Collaborative Practice-Led Research.” In . http://www.speculation2005.net/.