In the earliest history of computer art, artists created their work on oscilloscope displays, driving an electron beam using a computer program or sometimes a collection of analog circuits. Typically, a plotter was the output device of choice, and it took from minutes to hours to create a technical-pen or felt-tipped marker masterpiece. Some industrious folks at one lab programmed the stepper motors on one of their larger plotters to 'play' "Happy Birthday" by changing the trajectory plotter's pen at controlled times. Early computer music! For a good treatment of the history of early computer art, see Genesis II: Creation and Recreation with Computers by Dale Peterson . Today, probably because of the public's ever-increasing fascination with photorealism, the exploration of more purely algorithmic graphic art seems to have slowed significantly. Indeed, many tools are so three-dimensionally oriented as to make the production of two-dimensional art difficult, if not impossible.
Igor Bakshee's toolkit for creating artistic mathematics  provides a vast palette of mechanisms for creating and manipulating graphical information in an algorithmically aesthetic fashion (c.f. the Graphica series). Artlandia provides a broad set of tools, dividing principally along the lines of geometry creation, manipulation, color, and tiling.
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