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The very first generative art book of its kind. Each print will be calculated individually – which makes every single book unique.
186 backers pledged $33,221 to help bring this project to life.


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Created in collaboration with more than 70 media artists and developers from across the world, Written Images is the first of its kind. A 'programmed book', continuously regenerated for the digital printing process, offering each reader a unique experience.

We first announced our project in February 2010. Since then, more than 70 image generating software programs were submitted. A jury singled out the 42 most creative and successful submissions to be included in the book.

With your support we hope to produce the first edition of this unique book and also introduce the "Written Images" print-on-demand service.

The Book:

Limited edition (maximum 230 copies) 
 27x20.5cm, 400 Pages (glued) 
 High quality print 
 100% recycling/FSC certified paper - A generative prologue compiled by Bruce Sterling 
A short introduction about generative design 
 42 programmed artworks with individual descriptions 
and artist information (four subsequent page spreads per artwork) 
Index, Tools, and programming language descriptions 
 Visualized information about the copy and artworks 
(render time, cpu and memory usage, delivery location) - With support from the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (GAFFTA) and our printing partner Druckerei Dietrich, we're able to offer every backer the "Written Images" book at a discount of more than 25%. (Backers paying through Kickstarter will receive a tax-deductible record from GAFFTA.) Artists:

386dx25, Antoni Kaniowski, Ariel Malka, Carl-Johan Rosén, Casey Reas, clone, David Bollinger, David Bouchard, e m o c, flight404, Golan Levin, Jonathan McCabe, Jörg Piringer, Julien Deswaef, Kim Asendorf, kraftner, Leonardo Solaas, Lia, Luke Sturgeon, Marcin Ignac, Marius Watz, Michael Zick Doherty, Mitchell Whitelaw, Moka, Nervous System, Oliver Smith, paolon, Perceptor, rhymeandreason, Ricard Marxer, Roberto Christen, Rui Madeira, Ryan Alexander, Ryland Wharton, Sansumbrella, sojamo, Stefano Maccarelli, Szymon Kaliski, Victor Martins, W:Blut, William Lindmeier, zenbullets


Annette Schindler [PlugIn, Basel], Christiane Paul [Whitney Museum, New York], Filip Visnjic [CAN, London], Gill and Diego Stampa [Stampa, Basel], Heinz Widmer [BuroDestruct, Bern], Ludovic Balland [Typography Cabinet, Basel], Stefan Gandl [Neubau, Berlin], T.Tissot and N.Bourquin [Onlab, Berlin], Wolf Lieser [DAM, Berlin/Cologne]


Digital technologies are successful tools in contemporary design. No matter whether the material is processed by handicraft or digitally altered, the artist always creates out of his very own inspiration. He or she develops the rules of aesthetics which will be valid for their work. These rules will be played with and altered until the pre-defined final product comes into being. Within this work process the computer is not so much seen as a medium, but rather as a programmed simulator consisting of various materials and means to allow analogue steps.

This is the point at which generative art starts and helps generating products with the help of self-programmed, digital tools. A single impulse leads to a chain reaction of processes which are defined through mathematical relations.

The further development of digital printing meanwhile allows a whole field of new opportunites like personalized prints such as bills, credit card invoices or bank statements. While a hard copy sample is required for offset printing, digital printing is possible without this so that every sheet of paper can be printed differently without additional work and expense.

“Written Images” links these technical innovations and uses them to produce an ever-changing art book.

Image generating programs interpret data taken from the internet or visualise self-created figures. They calculate and save unique and complex high resolution visual worlds. 
These calculations are repeated for every copy of the book. They will be performed by a program designed for this purpose and will then be arranged to allow printing.

This procedure obviously is print on demand in its most extreme form, since every book can be understood as a printing assignment for a single copy only.

„Written Images“ is the result of an international collaboration and displays media and graphical design artists’ and programmers' work solely created for this purpose. The project has been significantly influenced by the creative coding scene and related open-source networks. It benefits from its growing community and their desire to experiment.

The public announcement of our project was met with great international enthusiasm. We received 180 applications from more than 18 countries. A total of 70 generative software programs were contributed, out of which 42 were selected for print by a jury of distinguished curators, gallerists, and designers.

The visual and technical content of these submitted works are highly varied. The contributing artists used many different programming languages and tools, and all of the programs visualize dynamic structures of some kind. Some of the artworks incorporate live data feeds from weather forecasts, news reports or public webcams acquired at the moment of printing. Some explore generative typography, while others investigate notions of physical simulation or artificial life. The works range from conceptual to formal, and from realistic to highly abstract.

In order to understand the visual development of the images, every program will generate images for four subsequent pages in the book. Additionally, every artist and workpiece will be presented in a short text. also descriptions of the used programming languages and environment will be given.

The book begins with a generative preface by futurist author, Bruce Sterling.

Project by:

Martin Fuchs and Peter Bichsel


Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, Druckerei Dietrich

Thanks to:

Processing, openFrameworks, Cinder, vvvv,

Golan Levin, Bruce Sterling, Institut HyperWerk,

01010101, André Sier, Andy, Andy Clymer, Andy Doro, Brad Borevitz, Brendan Oliver, Dean McNamee, Dylan Collins, ellala, Ethan Miller, Evsc, Generative Gestaltung, Guido Corallo, Jan Vantomme, Ken Huxley, Luke Noonan, Maff, makc, Matthias Zauner, mb09, mentalX, Monokai, Neil Banas, Paul Prudence, Pierre Proske, Rui P.G. Pereira, Sergio Albiac,

Philip Whitfield, Catherine Walthard, Frank Fietzek, Ralf Neubauer, Luca Vicente, Leander Herzog, David Bollinger, Lukas Gross, Konrad Sigl, Christine Gmür, Marina Siedl, Fabian Frei, Marion Zoë Ramirez, Sairah Rizvi, Amit Bapat, Leslie Marticke, Josette Melchor

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ


  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    receive a one-of-a-kind single postcard (select the artist of your choice, includes shipping for Europe and US)

    24 backers
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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    receive a one-of-a-kind set of 42 postcards (all 42 artists represented, includes shipping for Europe and US)

    22 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    receive the one-of-a-kind Written Images book (includes shipping for Europe and US)

    Limited 111 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    receive the one-of-a-kind Written Images book. As a thank you for your support, your name will be printed inside the book (includes shipping for Europe and US)

    Limited 17 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    receive the one-of-a-kind Written Images book. As a thank you for your support, you will also receive a special cover, your name printed inside the book, and a postcard set (includes shipping for Europe and US)

    Limited 1 backer
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Funding period

- (90 days)