Greylock Arts

Past Exhibit › Algorithmic Art

A group exhibition of art works that are mathematical, computational, or generative in nature.

Archived on January 10 2009.

In this group exhibit we explore the use of algorithms as an integral part of the art making process. An algorithm, or instruction set, is used by included artists as a medium through which their ideas are conveyed. The algorithm is often simply a starting point for a work that is completed by the artist, by a computer, or with the participation of the viewer.

Curated by Marianne R. Petit & Matthew Belanger.

Click a thumbnail to enlarge photos of art works.

In The Storefront:

Machine Drawings by Tristan Perich
The Machine Drawings—pen on paper or wall drawings executed by a custom-built machine—use randomness and order as raw materials within a composition. Inspired by physics and math, the machine drawings are a combination of the delicacy of real drawings and the rigid, structured system of mechanics and code. The system allows me to explore the limits of traditional drawing. The machine creates pen drawings that have a mechanical precision. It can run indefinitely, usually creating works that would take multiple days of non-stop drawing by hand to complete. At the same time, the system itself is delicate. The final drawings have a nervousness of the pen that a computer simulation alone cannot emulate. It is this balance between the code and the pen that excites me most, for the drawings couldn’t be made without the code, and the code couldn’t create the drawings on its own.

In The Gallery:

Wiggly by Larry Alice
My paintings have been getting more layered and cartoony over the years and I thought they would make nice animations. I worked a bit with Flash, and finally wrote my own animation program.

1618 by Richard Harrington
If any of these images were to be solely about any of these “subjects”, they would very likely be unsuccessful. The characteristics of their shapes are:
a. they are inclined to be efficient,
b. they are inclined to be symmetrical,
c. the numerology of their “silhouettes” is related to the Fibonacci numbers or square root functions,
d. they seek to activate subjective contour,
e. when scaled, they use ratios of 1-1.618 (the golden mean),
f. the number of morphing lines-per-inch is usually “proportionally” related to the dot resolution of the printer, 300 dpi to 1200 dpi,
g. the level of moire noise is, for the most part, controlled not chaotic,
h. stroke weight is roughly equivalent to the dot resolution of the printer or .001 in.

Engine by Daniel Hirschmann
The Engine series of prints has been developed in parallel with custom software of the same name. The software is structured around the processes inherent in photography, painting and programming. Using photographic images and live video as a color palette, the artist is enabled to paint digitally using various brush types and painterly gestures. Engine allows images to be captured, recaptured, processed, reconstructed, and manipulated. The moment of completion is established through a versioning structure and associated naming convention. Each print’s title is directly related to the moment it was made and the version of the software. The resulting image is transferred from the digital to the physical worlds thus revealing a complexity and richness that can only be achieved on the printed surface.

Weaven by Sean Riley
Weaven, was created using a ball-point pen and by drawing one line after another. A curve or natural occurrence of a “bump” in a line will determine the character of the next line and so on. Careful attention was paid to making each line as close as possible to its predecessor. Out of this process, forms are created that have similar properties of water, wood and fabric. The drawing of Weaven was a discovery process. With some decisions made as to the general shape of forms, all of the nuances happened through adherence to the process or rule of drawing lines as close together as possible without touching.

LifeCycle by Jeremy Rotsztain
Based upon the natural evolutionary patterns of population systems, LifeCycle is an autonomous and evolving video installation that creates abstract digital paintings in real-time. LifeCycle uses a collection of life-imitating computer algorithms to visualize the behaviours of a single population, which is guided by a set of rules, emphasizing various changes and trends (including size, growth, stability, and death). These factors stimulate the movement of virtual paintbrushes, sending flowing forms of bright colour across a screen-based canvas.

Swarm by Daniel Shiffman
Swarm is an interactive video installation that implements the pattern of flocking birds (using Craig Reynold’s “Boids” model) as a constantly moving brush stroke. Taking inspiration from Jackson Pollack’s “drip and splash” technique of pouring a continuous stream of paint onto a canvas, Swarm smears colors captured from live video input, producing an organic painterly effect in real-time.

Hypothetical Drawings about Suspicious and Possibly Dangerous Communities by Demetrie Tyler
According to (some) evolutionary psychologists we are, to a certain extent, hard-wired to be scared of each other. Viewed on an evolutionary time-scale this makes sense: before civilization the leading cause of death was murder. One reading of the story of civilization is about how we overcame our fear and learned to live together in larger and larger communities. The newest chapter of this story, the one we’re living through now, is about our communities dissolving around us and re-assembling in nearly unrecognizable forms online. These new communities, unbounded by geography, are free to self-organize almost entirely around common interests, common cultures, and common belief systems. And the old rules don’t seem to apply. We can behave as aggressively as we want and say things we would never have said in the public spaces of our traditional communities. The old relationship between ourselves, the communities we choose to inhabit, and the fear we express toward others seems to be undergoing another historical shift. Many of us are reacting to this new chapter the way we were programmed to: we’re frightened. This software collects conversations from websites being monitored by various “watch groups” and generates social landscapes using a set of programmatic drawing assets.

Exhibit Dates & Times:

November 22nd 2008 – January 10th 2009
Admission is free and open to the public.
Open Saturdays 1 – 4 p.m. and by appointment.
Appointments can be made by phone or email.

Opening Reception:

Saturday November 22nd 2008, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Click a thumbnail to enlarge photos of the opening reception.


93 Summer Street, Adams, MA 01220


Exhibit Press Release
Artist Bios
Complete Descriptions of Artworks


The North Adams Transcript 12/05/08: Tristan Perich by John Mitchell
The North Adams Transcript 11/21/08: Demetrie Tyler by John Mitchell