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The Charme of the Discrete Error – When Mathematical Socialism Becomes Art
Tim Otto Roth

Automata theoreticians have occasionally suggested a certain affinity to arts and music. For Tommaso Toffoli and Norman Margulies performing cellular automata recalls the enactment of a music instrument: “A cellular automata machine is a universal synthesizer. Like an organ, it has keys and stops by which the resources of the instrument can be called into action, combined, and reconfigured. Its color screen is a window through which one can watch the universe that is being ‘played’.” [Toffoli & Margulies 1987, p. 5]. More a methodological commonality you can find in John von Neumann’s heuristic plea promoting an “unmathematical process of experimentation with physical problems” – an approach lot of artists feel familiar with [Neumann 1966, p. 35]. But if you look back into art and music history you can observe that cellular automata are rarely used for artistic purposes.

Keywords: Cellular automata, self-organization, bio-computing, pixelsex, mathematical socialism, art & science, organ, carpet, robustness, India, anthropology, Iannis Xenakis, Andreas Deutsch, Hiroaki Kitano, John von Neumann, Stephen Wolfram, Paul Klee

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