Portrait photo of Sher Minn Chong

Sher Minn Chong

Recreating Retro Computer Art with JS!

Before personal computing became a thing, there was a handful of programmers and artists saw computers as a tool beyond their intended purpose: to create art.

In this talk, we will explore the early history of computer art, from ghostly oscilloscope paints to pre-ASCII text art. We’ll discuss how simple techniques with limited technology back then could yield compelling pieces. We’ll see how the history of computer displays and printers have evolved in the 1950s to 1980s.

While quite a bit of retro art survives today, most of them do not come preserved with their algorithms. In this talk, I’ll also demo some attempts to recreate retro art pieces using p5.js, a JavaScript graphics library as well as talk through some of the techniques of creating generative computer art.