Generated Book Gallery


By students of 60-212 • Carnegie Mellon University • November 2018

This 400 page, computationally-generated book is the class project of Golan Levin's introductory course, Electronic Media Studio: Interactivity and Computation, taught at Carnegie Mellon University in fall 2018. Students in this course develop the skills and confidence to produce artworks with code, discuss their work in relation to current and historic praxes of digital art, and engage new technologies critically. In this assignment, students were asked to write software to generate chapters for a book.  The type of content (e.g. poems, stories, recipes, myths, etc.) was wholly up to each student.

The purpose of this project was to prompt students toward a deeper appreciation of procedural authorship -- by generating text, images, layouts, and their comprehensive combination in a complex yet familiar physical object, a book. Students acquired: experience combining multiple self-written programs into a multi- stage workflow; exposure to various toolkits for language analysis and synthesis; skills with tools and algorithms, such as part-of-speech taggers and Markov chains; familiarity with generative text strategies, in the context of artists' books; and an awareness of text corpora for creative computational play.

This book was printed in an edition of 25 uniquely generated copies. Chapters were contributed by 22 undergraduates, the majority of whom were first- and second-year students in the CMU School of Art. All of the texts, illustrations, and layouts in this book were computationally generated and automated, using open-source libraries like Processing, p5.js, RiTa.js, ml5.js, Basil.js, and NLTK. Illustrations, while encouraged, were optional. In respect of FERPA regulations, the student authors have been anonymized.

Three uniquely generated PDF copies (versions) of the book can be downloaded here:

Abbreviated write-ups about the students' projects appear on the title pages separating each chapter. Additional information about each student's chapter, often including code and other process documentation, may be found on their individual blog posts:

  1. Chromsan • The Extended Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  2. Breep • The Hands of Gutenberg
  3. Nannon • REDDIT BIBLE?
  4. Nixel • Fake Love
  5. Casher • Lyric Poetry
  6. Sepho • Exploration?
  7. Dinkolas • Bioinvasive Dingus
  8. Chewie • High Stakes
  9. Chaine • Recipes for the Mad...
  10. Sapeck • Antisemitic Absurdities
  11. Rigatoni • Punk Rock Album Generator
  12. Airsun • The Value of Advertisements
  13. Harsh • Build Limericks Not Walls
  14. Nerual • A-Z, Or Something Like That
  15. Lass • MEDICAL FACTS
  16. Ocannoli • John Mulaney's Comedy Hour
  17. Paukparl • Generated Self-Help Books
  18. Shuann • A Guide to Absurd Movies
  19. Weirdie • Extraterrestrial
  20. Yalbert • Gender Bended Classics
  21. Yuvian • Fortune Cookies
  22. Spoon • Plagiarizing
Chapter 01 Chapter 02 Chapter 03 Chapter 04 Chapter 05
Chapter 06 Chapter 07 Chapter 08 Chapter 09 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22