Rhea Myers

On Purpose

The finished implementation of the line drawing algorithm from Harold Cohen’s essay “On Purposecan be found here. You’ll need a Lisp system such as SBCL to run it, the output images can be viewed with Gimp.

I am not happy with my implementation of the algorithm. I don’t think the “homing” functionality is robust or elegant enough, and it interacts with the angular limit code in a way that sometimes requires turns greater than the pen should allow.

But writing it has been a wonderful exercise in art computing historical investigation. I have learnt a lot, and gained a new appreciation for both the techniques and results of Cohen’s earliest art computing work.

If anyone can suggest a better homing algorithm and a better way of choosing each phases’s parameters let me know.