Generative and Interactive Art proposal on Stack Exchange

Hi everyone.

There is a generative and interactive art proposal for stack exchange here:

I imagine many people here are using Stack Overflow and possibly others here - and are familiar with the format.

If you’re not familiar with the network of sites - it’s a community moderated Q&A forum - designed for giving specific answers to specific questions. (ie. as opposed to subjective opinions or community banter).

It has a gamified system for getting moderation priviledges, and has the ability to embed code into posts etc.

In order to get a site, the proposal first needs to get through the proposal stage, and then commitment. Proposals are routinely culled if they don’t look like they’re going anywhere. I think basically you have four months to get enough of a community demonstrating they’re keen.

So if you think this is a great idea or want to contribute:

  • follow the link
  • Create an account
  • Ask some example questions
  • Use your five upvotes to upvote five questions to 10 points. (Don’t waste your votes on questions that already have 10 points).

Great idea!
What do you think could be a good kind of question for the stack?
About the Aesthetics? History?
Computer Science knowledge?
Or just algorithms mainly used for generative graphics?
Because I feel the latter can be a little bit ambiguous.


1 Like

Hey- thanks for the question.

Basically the proposal process is exactly for answering that question - ‘what kinds of questions are on topic here?’.

I think certainly there’s always a bit of overlap with other Stack Exchange sites - and that’s not especially a problem. I think you find that with Stack Overflow for example - on of the problems it faces, is that there is so much content there - that it’s hard to get an answer to your question - because your question gets lost in the noise.

But specifically -

I think asthetics are on topic. What is that makes one random image look better than others.

I guess history questions are on topic - so long as they are objective.

And then of course specific questions about generative frameworks or librarys etc.

But also - questions around UX, hardware, etc.

Interesting – thanks for sharing this!

On the Processing programming side, one of the community’s most dedicated StackExchange users is @Kevin, who has curated the StackOverflow tag for Processing for years. He might have some thoughts…

Questions tagged “Processing”:


This is an interesting idea, but if you want some feedback: right now it’s unclear to me where you’re drawing the line between questions that are on-topic and questions that are too broad.

Some of these questions seem too broad to me:

  • What developements are being made regarding AI and art?
  • How do I create that mandala flower?
  • How to use p5.js to let a user upload an audio file, and with an FFT function (inside the Sound library), draw some stuff based on info of the file?

In my very humble opinion, general “how do I do this” type questions are almost always too broad, and indicate that the asker needs help with the meta-process of breaking problems down into smaller steps and taking those steps on one at a time. So I think it’s a mistake to encourage these types of questions. Instead, we should try to walk them through the process of breaking their problem down. And for better or worse, Stack Exchange sites aren’t designed for that kind of back and forth.

On the other hand, some of the more specific questions seem like they’d be better off on Stack Overflow:

  • How would I define frequency parameters (in Hz) when using window.requestAnimationFrame()?
  • How to alter a shader from a built-in Three.js material?
  • How does the coordinate system in Three.js work?

I’m not saying this to discourage you. Quite the opposite: I’m a big fan of community building, and I wish you all the best. But if you want your efforts to succeed, I think you need to figure out where that line is. If you’re aiming to be open to more general questions, how do you avoid becoming a catch-all for general “how do I do this” questions?


I don’t see these as particularly broad. The AI question - is one that would need to be visited like one a year, because the answer would be quickly outdated -but it’s one that would be able to give very concrete answers to.

The mandala question (which is my own) - it’s hard to give complete context in in just a question title - but the idea is, there are lots of mandala flowers, and is there a algorithm means for generating them.

FWIW I don’t think you necessarily need to explain to me which questions are on-topic for your site. I think the site itself should make it more clear.

It also might be helpful to think about which communities are the same shape or have the same relationship to their topic as the one you want on art.

So, for example, probably not English Language & Usage. Are you imagining this along the lines of “for people who make things” a la Seasoned Advice? Or is this about discussing interactive art experiences, a la Arqade … et cetera.

“Generative and Interactive Art” is a bit tricky. For example, there are a lot of kinds of computational art that is neither generative nor interactive – I’m thinking for example of forms projection mapping or installation. Unless by generative you mean anything computational – although I’m more familiar with generative meaning something that is procedurally combinatoric and/or random. If not: Algorithmic Art?

The question then being – why someone would ask their Kinect question or their bezier curve question there as opposed to StackOverflow – for which questions would it matter to them that people be invested in the domain rather than just experts in a particular hardware or software method?

The question then being – why someone would ask their Kinect question or their bezier curve question there as opposed to StackOverflow – for which questions would it matter to them that people be invested in the domain rather than just experts in a particular hardware or software method?

This question comes up a bit.

Basically - I think you could ask the same question of AI.stackexchange, or webmasters.stackexchange. There are a lot of tech based Stack Exchanges that all have questions that would be on topic on Stack Overflow - but that doesn’t stop them being successful.

The difference is that the unique stack exchange gives context for the questions. That is - a question about say a specific rendering technique asked in the context of a generative art stack exchange is going to draw responses from people who know of that rendering technique for the use of creating art.

Would anyone like to have their art featured on a new record label I am setting up?