Insights Into a Cellular Automata Model of Abstract Painting

Tara Krause

Class 4 complexity in cellular automata excites the visual system and artistic brain. This paper proposes a preliminary descriptive model of a painter, her materials and canvas working as a simple program with seven simple rules and aesthetic fitness function, along with an emerging conceptual aesthetic framework. The model is derived from three computer experiments with the totalistic Code 1599 algorithm, and four follow-on experiments in abstract painting and video visual music shorts. These experiments yield three key observations: a new abstract visual language that embraces emergence; the discovery of eddies of complexity within the paintings; and the challenges of generating complex compositions in large-scale abstract expressionist paintings. This model seeks to bridge the dissonance of artistic experimentation and scientific computation.

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