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This is an attempt by Nina Paley (art) and Atul Varma (code) to tinker with procedural art.

Right now there is no particular goal other than to explore various ideas. The project consists of a web site with multiple pages, each of which is an experiment of some kind.

It can be viewed online or iterated on locally using the instructions below.

Quick start

This requires NodeJS. It was started with NodeJS 14.15.4, but hopefully it should work with any recent version.

After cloning the repository and entering it, run:

npm run watch

then visit http://localhost:1234.

Adding symbols

Documentation for adding and changing symbols can be found in assets/symbols/

Running tests

To run tests interactively, run:

npm run test:watch

Type checking

To make sure that everything type-checks okay, run:

npm run typecheck

Note that you may want to install a TypeScript plugin for your favorite editor. Aside from telling you what type errors you have in real-time, editor integration also provides code autocompletion and other affordances that can greatly improve your productivity. For more details, see Atul's Fun with TypeScript series of videos.

Code style

All code styling is managed by Prettier.

To format the code automatically, run:

npm run prettier:fix

You can alternatively install a Prettier extension for your editor; see its website for more details.


To deploy the project to GitHub Pages, run:

npm run deploy

Firebase support

The website features optional Firebase integration.

Currently, the details for the integration are hard-coded into the application code; see lib/firebase.tsx for details.

Currently, the Firebase project that we integrate with needs to have the following configured:

  • Cloud Firestore should be enabled with a collection called compositions and the following rules:

    rules_version = '2';
    service cloud.firestore {
      match /databases/{database}/documents {
        match /{document=**} {
          // The gallery is globally readable.
          allow read: if true;
          allow write: if request.auth != null &&
  ['kind', 'serializedValue', 'owner', 'ownerName', 'title', 'createdAt']) &&
            [].hasAny(['creature', 'mandala']) &&
   is string &&
   == request.auth.uid &&
   is string &&
   is string &&
   is timestamp;
  • The GitHub sign-in provider must be enabled.