We live in an era where we are bombarded with images. Everyone has a camera and everyone is a photographer. We can share images on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and many many others. Not to mention the images we see on billboards, posters, bus stops, and other venues. Of course some images rise above others and are celebrated in art galleries or printed and hung on walls. But what makes these images better?

When you get right down to it, images are just a collection of pixels. One’s and Zeros, well technically if we have a grayscale image, the pixels have a value between 0 and 255[1]. So what is the value of an image? Anyone can just copy it or take another image right?

The website at the link produces a unique image by randomly generating pixels. There are trillions and trillions image possibilities. Almost all the images  are just noise. Very, very rarely an image comes up that is interesting on some level. Almost like the images we are bombarded with daily…

million monkeys

EDIT (Aug 10, 2017): After putting the simple code up live, I noticed that it can be slow and occasionally errors out. I am not sure if I want to fix this as this is another parallel to the “real life” creative process. Things don’t always go as fast as you would like, and sometimes things just don’t work at all…

Edit (Dec 31, 2020) I came across a Video that (tries to) explains the math behind this concept. see my post here. or view the Youtube video directly


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. 256 values for an 8-bit image, which is by far the most common. Each pixel in a colour image will have a red, green, and blue component. Each component has a value between 0 and 255. so 256 x 256 x 256 for over 16 million possible values for each pixel
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