We address a number of problems related to viewing algorithms as the formulation of artistic statements. We analyze the nature of the algorithmic approach as opposed to direct physical action. Here are some of the basic questions that will be raised. Why do artists choose to express themselves indirectly, by way of formal descriptions of their ideas and what are the sources of inspiration for algorithmic activity. How does current algorithmic work relate to formal methods in an art-historical context. What is the relationship between paint systems and a pure algorithmic approach and is there a way to integrate both. What determines the beauty and effectiveness of an algorithm. What is the relationship between an algorithm and the nature of the physical results it produces i.e. how to externalize (materialize) algorithmic processes.What is the role of interaction in the development of algorithms. Do algorithms allow for progressive optimization or do they require fully preconceived ideas? Finally, and most pertinent, does computer programming force a focus on the surface component i.e. perceivable structure, or does it allow for the manipulation of deeper components such as meaning and emotion?
- Peter Beyls (1950) has been exploring computer programming for artistic expression since the early Seventies. Beyls studies autonomy in graphic computer systems and develops computer-based musical instruments. He currently heads the Electronic Media Department at St Lukas Art Institute, Brussels, Belgium.