"Dear Computer, is the quest for beauty in algorithmic randomness. Using various tools we're trying to create surprising results in the field of generative art."
29 January to 24 April 2011, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA.
"Drawing with Code brings together a selection of computer-generated art by the form's earliest and most important practitioners from the 1950s to today. The Providence-based collection of Anne and Michael Spalter is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the U.S. and shines a new light onto a darkened corner of the art historical record.
In our current digital environment when just about everyone holds the processing power of a full computer in their pocket, it is difficult to remember a time when computer technology was not involved in every aspect of our lives. In the arts-visual, cinematic, musical, dance, and theater-the computer has become not only an accepted, but in many cases, an intrinsic tool for artistic expression. The artists featured in Drawing with Code emerged in the early computer-era when the technology was rudimentary by current standards and its capabilities rarely extended beyond the world of computation. Merging their interests in art and coding, these practitioners came to be known as 'Algorists,' artists who employed original algorithms to create images. In addition to works on paper, Drawing with Code presents the work of two filmmakers, Lillian Schwartz and Stan VanDerBeek, who were brought into Bell Labs Research by Kenneth Knowlton to make some of the first computer art animations. These six animations were collaborations using Knowlton's BEFLIX (Bell Flicks) programming language for bitmap computer-produced movies.
The artists in Drawing with Code represent some of the earliest innovations in computer-generated art from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, pioneering a new form of collaboration between technology and art that pushed the boundaries of both.
Featured artists: Yoshiyuki Abe, Manuel Barbadillo, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Desmond Paul Henry, Sven Höglund / Bror Wikstörm, Sture Johannessen, G. F. Kammerer-Luka / Jean-Baptist Kempf, Hiroshi Kawano, Kenneth Knowlton, Ben F. Laposky, Manfred Mohr, Vera Molnar, Frieder Nake, George Nees, Lillian F. Schwartz, Stan VanDerBeek, Roman Verotsko, Mark Wilson, and Edward Zajac.
This exhibition is organized by guest curator George Fifield, Director, Boston Cyberarts Inc. and is part of the 2011 Boston Cyberarts Festival."
(deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 2011)
Fig.1 Ben Laposky (1954–1956). 'Electronic Abstraction 4', oscilliscope, high speed film, photo paper, 16 1/2 inches x 13 inches, Collection of Anne and Michael Spalter.
"MrTaggy is an experiment in web search and exploration built on top of a PARC algorithm called TagSearch. Think of MrTaggy as a cross between a search engine and a recommendation engine: it's a web browsing guide constructed from social tagging data.
Unlike most search engines, MrTaggy doesn't index the text on a web page. Instead, it leverages the knowledge contained in the tags that people add to web pages when using social bookmarking services. Tags describe both the content and context of a web page, and we use that information to deliver relevant search results.
The problem with using social tags is that they contain a lot of noise, because people often use different words to mean the same thing or the same words to mean different things. The TagSearch algorithm is part of our ongoing research to reduce the noise while amplifying the information signal from social tags."
(PARC’s Augmented Social Cognition Area)
"Founded in 2000, LeCielEstBleu specializes in the creation of highly interactive, original interfaces and applications. Their work has received numerous international awards and has been exhibited throughout the world. They are best known for PuppetTool, an experimental animation tool; SetSearch, a visual search engine; and La Pâté à Son [Sound Dough], a generative musical composition tool and sound toy recently exhibited at Ars Electronica. LeCielEstBleu's principal artists are Frédéric Durieu (code), Kristine Malden (media), e Jean-Jacques Birgè (music)."
"For as much as I appreciate Panton and Riley, their approaches are hard to reconcile. Panton was a master colourist, and he mined the optical power of subtle changes in hues, shades and values. But foremost, he was a designer, and he approached colour from the perspective of function. 'Using colours is like life,' he wrote in Notes on Colour. 'One must have a goal. The goal can be almost anything - also make the most awful colour combinations.' And he writes elsewhere, 'Choosing colours should not be a gamble. It should be a conscious decision. Colours have a meaning and function.'"