Art and Code: Programming as a Medium

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Computer programming is more than a tool for the artist. Writing code is manipulating a medium: a medium that is like no other. This chapter discusses the importance of coding and shows how it is enabling principled investigations into inventing new forms, creating new experiences and extending the nature of engagement with art works. It shows how formal ways of making art, from perspective to the 20th century use of systems, geometry and mathematics, have pointed to the value of programming. This is a direction that has defined the work of a range of artists. The chapter discusses the use of the medium of code by artists who talked about their art making process. They include pioneers Aaron Marcus, Harold Cohen and Manfred Mohr and other artists, some of whom are live coding practitioners.

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This research demonstrates the suitability of applying Islamic geometrical patterns (IGPs) to architectural elements in terms of time scale accuracy and style matching. To this end, a detailed survey is conducted on the decorative patterns of 100 surviving buildings in the Muslim architectural world. The patterns are analyzed and chronologically organized to determine the earliest surviving examples of these adorable ornaments. The origins and radical artistic movements throughout the history of IGPs are identified. With consideration for regional impact, this study depicts the evolution of IGPs, from the early stages to the late 18th century. Find Full Text Here:
Artforum (June, 1967). The editor has written me that he is in favor of avoiding "the notion that the artist is a kind of ape that has to be explained by the civilized critic". This should be good news to both artists and apes. With this assurance I hope to justify his confidence. To use a baseball metaphor (one artist wanted to hit the ball out of the park, another to stay loose at the plate and hit the ball where it was pitched), I am grateful for the opportunity to strike out for myself. I will refer to the kind of art in which I am involved as conceptual art. In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. This kind of art is not theoretical or illustrative of theories; it is intuitive, it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless. It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as a craftsman. It is the objective of the artist who is concerned with conceptual art to make his work mentally interesting to the spectator, and therefore usually he would want it to become emotionally dry. There is no reason to suppose, however, that the conceptual artist is out to bore the viewer. It is only the expectation of an emotional kick, to which one conditioned to expressionist art is accustomed, that would deter the viewer from perceiving this art. Conceptual art is not necessarily logical. The logic of a piece or series of pieces is a device that is used at times, only to be ruined. Logic may be used to camouflage the real intent of the artist, to lull the viewer into the belief that he understands the work, or to infer a paradoxical situation (such as logic vs. illogic). Some ideas are logical in conception and illogical perceptually. The ideas need not be complex. Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable. In terms of ideas the artist is free even to surprise himself. Ideas are discovered by intuition. What the work of art looks like isn't too important. It has to look like something if it has physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned. Once given physical reality by the artist the work is open to the perception of al, including the artist. (I use the word perception to mean the apprehension of the sense data, the objective understanding of the idea, and simultaneously a subjective interpretation of both). The work of art can be perceived only after it is completed.
In this survey of the history of constructivism, more space has been devoted to early developments (up till ca 1965) than to the work of the last few decades. Not only because most of the concepts and general insights have emerged before 1965, but also for practical reasons: much of the recent work is of a too technical and complicated nature to be described adequately within the limits of this article. Constructivism is a point of view (or an attitude) concerning the methods and objects of mathematics which is normative: not only does it interpret existing math- ematics according to certain principles, but it also rejects methods and results not conforming to such principles as unfounded or speculative (the rejection is not always absolute, but sometimes only a matter of degree: a decided preference for construc- tive concepts and methods). In this sense the various forms of constructivism are all 'ideological' in character. Constructivism as a specific viewpoint emerges in the final quarter of the 19th century, and may be regarded as a reaction to the rapidly increasing use of highly abstract concepts and methods of proof in mathematics, a trend exemplified by the works of R. Dedekind1 and G. Cantor2. The mathematics before the last quarter of the 19th century is, from the view- point of today, in the main constructive, with the notable exception of geometry, where proof by contradiction was commonly accepted and widely employed. Characteristic for the constructivist trend is the insistence that mathematical objects are to be constructed (mental constructions) or computed; thus theorems asserting the existence of certain objects should by their proofs give us the means of constructing objects whose existence is being asserted. L. Kronecker3 may be described as the first conscious constructivist. For Kro- necker, only the natural numbers were 'God-given'; all other mathematical objects ought to be explained in terms of natural numbers (at least in algebra). Assertions of existence should be backed up by constructions, and the properties of numbers
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