In an essay at the end of Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov writes, “For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call ‘aesthetic bliss’. – That phrase “aesthetic bliss” has stuck in my mind over the years, since it expresses precisely and entirely what matters for me in the visual arts. I am not interested in portraying social, political or moral themes, nor in exploring and expressing my inner psyche, nor in constructing academic exercises in form and color. This is not to deny for others the validity of such expressions. There’s room in my world for every type of artist, as there is, alas, for every type of person. As for me, all I care about is beauty. I do not always succeed in invoking it, but my aim is to establish a momentary connection between the viewer’s soul and the underlying order of the world. When that occurs it is usually signaled by a sudden intake of breath or a long pleasurable sigh. If you’ve had that experience, then you know what I mean by aesthetic bliss.
For several years now I have been exploring algorithmic art. For me this means creating images by writing computer programs that embody mathematical formulas or other orderly procedures. My pursuit of beauty has led me along this path, for mathematics, more than any other human activity, seems to offer connections to the cryptic universal order I am striving to express.
[editor’s remark: this artist statement was published in the FISEA’93 Catalogue without a title of the work]
- BOB BRILL, Independent artist, Ann Arbor, USA