Processing Screensaver

September 17, 2019

In my last post, I briefly noted that I had some ideas I’ve wanted to implement from Processing. Making things has been an itch that I’ve ignored for too long, and this weekend I made some success.

This summer, I was lucky to visit The Whitney Museum’s Programmed show, which established “connections between works of art based on instructions, spanning over fifty years of conceptual, video, and computational art.” I really enjoyed the show, especially this one artwork by Casey Reas, implemented in Processing. I loved the implied interplay between moving circles, and I wanted it. I wanted it in my life.

A surface filled with one hundred medium to small sized circles. Each circle has a different size and direction, but moves at the same slow rate. Display:

A. The instantaneous intersections of the circles

B. The aggregate intersections of the circles

So over the weekend, I found an implementation in p5.js. And then I created a static site deployed through Netlify to Finally, I found an open source macOS screensaver that you can point to an arbitrary URL to show for your screensaver. Perfect.

Today I was in a meeting and my screensaver turned on. I’d forgotten about it. And I was so happy to see it.

Photo of my screensaver

(Please don’t judge my dirty screen.)

So I didn’t really do much, beyond customizing some colours, but now I have a really cool screensaver. I made something, out of existing pieces. It feels good, and I want to make more things.

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