Generative Postcards

Generative Postcards

Earlier this year, I sent a set of generative postcards to subscribers of my newsletter living all around the world.

The postcards were all unique, their design generated by the address of the recipient and their answer to questions about their favourite kind of weather and time of day. From these foundations, I built up an image.

I deliberately didn't tell the receipients exactly how the image was encoded, but now that some time has passed I'm happy to reveal all.

The rectangle of the postcard represents a traditional world map, with the coloured square and surrounding circle representing the location of the addressee. The highlighted area on the map is the recipient's timezone. The angle of the line extending from the circle represents that person's favourite time of day on a 24 hour clock (midnight is directly upward, midday is directly downward), and its colour represents their favourite kind of weather.

I wrote a short note to the recipient on the back, which was also pen plotted, attached a stamp and sent it off. Most of them arrived safely, as far as I'm aware, though I didn't hear back from everyone. The postal system certainly had its impact on some of the cards, but I'm calling that a feature of the artwork rather than a bug.

It was a fun project that I'd like to run again some time. If you'd like to receive one then make sure you sign up to my newsletter.