Approximating Reality with Interactive Algorithmic Art


Early Computer Art:

Pioneers of Computer Graphics Art (Art? or, Design?)
Early Computer Graphics Art from Chzek and Slovak Republics



1. John Berger, "Ways of Seeing."

Reproduction - leading us into postmodernism (for better or worse)

Augmenting images of the past to fit the needs of the present

"It is not a question of reproduction failing to reproduce certain aspects of an image faithfully; it is a question of reproduction making it possible, even inevitable, that an image will be used for many different purposes and that the reproduced image, unlike an original work, can lend itself to them all."

2. George Legrady, "Image, Language, and Belief in Synthesis."

Computer generated aesthetics through the use of algorithms and structured procedures:

"This structured approach has precedents in the sequential and modular artworks of Sol LeWitt and in the syllogistic propositions of Lawrence Weiner, Doug Huebler, Joseph Kosuth and others associated with the conceptual art movement."

3. David Rokeby, "Transforming Mirrors: Subjectivity and Control in Interactive Media."

Subjective rules cannot be avoided - therefore they must be acknowledged and dealt with in the art piece.

"[John] Cage defined a set of rules and then used the tossing of coins to choose a specific composition from the range of possibilities allowed by these rules. …Henry Cowell commented in a discussion of these compositions: '…Unfortunately, …no order of tossings can give anything more than a variety of arrangements of the elements subjectively chosen to operate upon.'"

4. Simon Penny, "Consumer Culture and the Technological Imperative."

The way the algorithms work, the artist who wrote them and the interpretation of their output reflect social and cultural interpretations of the artist/engineer.

"…the subtle assessment of value among the choices is beyond the capability of the machine."

"Computers are machines for manipulating rule systems, adjusting parameters. An extreme case of the canon is the algorithm. Certain modernist styles are so constrained in their parameters that they can be regarded as rule systems."

"Here the potential basic incompatibility of computer systems with art practice is thrown into high relief, for elaboration of a canon is simply elaboration, while it is the quality of invention that we value in art. Invention is not random; it is based on the analysis of canons and codes, and on the inversion of terms."

5. Simon Penny, "Agents as Artworks and Agent Design as Artistic Practice."

In regard to interactive art:

"The degree to which the changes in output are interpreted by the user as related to their behavior is a key measure of the success of any interactive system. Ideally, changes in the behavior of the system will elicit changes in the users behavior, and so an ongoing 'conversation' rather than a chain of 'Pavlovian' responses will emerge."

"One hopes for some poetic richness which is clear enough to orient the user but unclear enough to allow the generation of mystery and inquisitiveness. The system must engage the user, the user must desire to continue to explore the work. This is a basic requirement of any artwork."


Algorithmic Art:

Algorithmic Art can be divided into several sub-categories which are generally represened by Genetic/Organic Art, Fractal Art, Mathmatical Art and a more general Algorithmic Art (the use of algorithms as one component of the composition). Of course, there are more sub-categories of the sub-categories...

Further examples, resources and theory follow:

Project: Don't Play Ball in the House


presented 06.07.01 for MAT: Art and Technology