VIA: Variable Image Abstractor™

VIA: Variable Image Abstractor™ is a generative art system that runs realtime on a Mac computer.

In terms of visual memory, images float within our mind; juxtaposing, overlapping, replacing one another. VIA externalizes these visions into a new kind of time based visual experience. Depending on the source imagery, VIA can produce fragments of reality, total abstraction, or a mix of the two. Sometimes Impressionistic, other times Cubist or Expressionistic, I like to think of the resulting imagery as a visual representation of thought.

In searching for new ways to present several images simultaneously, I began thinking about automating a structured, yet random process of image transformation. I developed VIA, a stream-of-consciousness type of image engine. VIA displays an image, then systematically replaces parts of the image with other images read from an image library. The reading process is random, and designed in a way that repetition is unlikely. The end result is imagery constructing and deconstructing itself, to create an ever evolving composition, which can run indefinitely.

Originally developed over 17 years ago in FutureBASIC for Mac, it is currently written in the Processing programming language.


VIA 2.0: Pop Forest ©2019
Using photographic source imagery of plants and trees (7:15 min. excerpt).


VIA 2.0: Architecture ©2019
Using photographic source imagery of buildings and architectural structures (4:48 min. excerpt).


VIA 2.0: DotGEO ©2018
Using source imagery from an abstract painting by my late mother, Dorothy Burnham, VIA takes image sections of the painting, and remixes it’s shapes and forms to create new ever-changing abstractions.

More information on DotGEO (PDF)

(2:38 min. excerpt)


Samples of earlier FutureBASIC versions of VIA

VIA: Grow ©2005-2006 (6:31 min. excerpt)

VIA: Peace Space ©2004-2006 (6:12 min. excerpt)