Forking a Sketch:
How the OpenProcessing Community Uses Remixing to Collect, Annotate, Tune, and Extend Creative Code
DIS ‘23 (forthcoming)
Creative coders create programs that generate visual output. Frameworks such as p5.js support sketching with creative code. Given the focus on expressivity over functionality, code reuse in creative coding practice is distinct from other programming contexts. Remixing facilitates iteration on existing code, but we have yet to understand how creative coders use remixing in practice. To understand creative coder remixing strategies, we studied the community of OpenProcessing, a site dedicated to sharing code-generated artworks. We found that 30% of the 1.2 million sketches in our data set were involved in remixing. For in-depth insight, we qualitatively analyze source code and visual output of 350 antecedent-remix pairs. We present on the diversity of ways that authors remix to curate projects, annotate process, explore variations, and transform existing sketches. We discuss the prevalence of these types and implications for supporting a multiplicity of remixing strategies in creative work.