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Contest: recreate Mondrian painting in code, win exposition in museum (setup.nl)
65 points by vindia on Jan 11, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

Rules are in Dutch, so I did a quick translation of the most important parts

Generate Mondriaan's Victory Boogie Woogie in code

Everyone who can make squares appear on a screen can join until March 7th 2013

Submit your code to elegant@setup.nl


  * Any programming language can be used
  * Please do try to document your code as good as possible and add a little description how it works, as the judges will not speak all programming languages
  * Please add a little manual on how to run your program on the judges' machine
  * Code will remain secret until the deadline of March 7th 2013
  * After the deadline all code will be published on Github, licensed under MIT license and with proper attribution to the author
  * Your submission must consist of the following:
    * Sourcecode
    * Output of your program (image)
    * Short description of the algorithm used
    * Contact details

Thank you!

Wikipedia says Victory Boogie Woogie is unfinished. Should submissions produce a finished version of the painting?

"It is a kind of demoscene contest, where beauty come first. You do not have to produce a one-on-one copy of the painting. The jury rates on quality and creativity of the used algorithms."

As a side note, the Google translation from Dutch to English seems pretty bad. I submitted a few improved translations; I did not know this feature existed before, and I'm curious how it works behind the scenes. Presumably a human has to read them to verify they are correct; I don't know Dutch, so I am making educated guesses based on the existing translation and online Dutch to English dictionaries.

And anyone can enter? You don't have to be Dutch / speak Dutch?

There's no such rule on the website.

If you'd like to participate you might want to send and email to find out if you're eligible to enter. Or consider it just an intellectual challenge ;-)

The winner is a foregone conclusion, it's the person who submits the solution in Piet: http://www.dangermouse.net/esoteric/piet.html

It'll be a worthy victory, though.

I think Mondriaan would dislike almost all Piet programs. Green? Cyan? Magenta? Light and dark? No gray?

It'd be even better if it's a quine too!

Just think of the opportunities for different coding standards that Piet could allow! :-)

There's a famous 1965 experiment to generate synthetic Mondrians by computer. Most people couldn't tell which was real, and people actually liked the fake better. This was some of the earliest computer art, done on an IBM 7090. (Just a historical note, not a comment on the current contest.)



More-or-less off-topic, but if you live in SF you should check out the house near Ocean Beach that's painted like a Mondrian:


I forget the exact cross street -- somewhere between Judah and Taravel, overlooking the beach. A good excuse for a walk on the beach, if nothing else!

There's another one in Warsaw, Poland, in the city's arguably most slumsiest estate comprised of three low-standard blocks of flats with no infrastructure:


I ran down the street real quick in Google Maps, it's 2140 Great Highway: http://goo.gl/maps/NZNAO

I just had another holy shit, it's the 21st century moment.

Those with xscreensaver installed can use something along the lines of:

    /usr/lib/xscreensaver/deco -mondrian
Temper your expectations by the `man deco` intro that suggests it draws "tacky 70s basement wall panelling".

Evidently there's some interestingness in the precise choice of the colors in Boogie Woogie: http://www.webexhibits.org/colorart/mondrian2.html

I wrote some code a little while ago to do something like this (although I wasn't trying to produce Victory Boogie Woogie in particular)[1]. It generates samples from a probability distribution over kd-trees called the Mondrian Process [2]

[1] http://whatididonthetrain.blogspot.com/2011/02/mondrian-was-...

[2] http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~teh/research/npbayes/RoyTeh2009a....

Years ago I wrote a toy to make Mondrian style pics using PHP+GD2 ... http://ooer.com/automondrian/ ... It just makes silly random pics. Fun.

I'm a little bit sad that such awesomeness can be reduced to an algorithm. As my graphic designer friends used to joke, "There's a Photoshop filter for that!"

I'd be really impressed if a computer program simulated the -tactile- texture and gamut as well.

Mondrian's New York period paintings are deceptively simple. I've read a teacher's writeup of his student's efforts to recreate Mondrian's Composition (I think). Not easy.

Matching the palette, precise layering, bevels and edges. Mondrian's New York paintings were precise and subtle.

Here's a similar description (can't find the article I vaguely remember):

Two-year study of Mondrian's Victory Boogie Woogie in Gemeentemuseum Den Haag to be rounded off by symposium Thursday, 28 August 2008 http://www.codart.nl/news/338/

“I've read a teacher's writeup of his student's efforts to recreate Mondrian's Composition (I think). Not easy.”

Here you go:


such a cool analysis. thanks!

In the same case, I could say that, because I can't 100% recreate a Pollock, that it's incredibly precise and subtle.

This reminds me of an installation by Mine Control: http://www.mine-control.com/mondrian.html

Bonus points for who ever can structure your code with whitespace to appear in a layout very similar to the resulting painting.

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