Generative Art

In this paper an attempt is made to offer a definition of generative art that is inclusive and provides fertile ground for both technical and art theoretical development. First the use of systems is identified as a key element in generative art. Various ideas from complexity theory are then introduced. It is noted that systems exist on a continuum from the highly ordered to the highly disordered. Citing examples from information theory and complexity science, it is noted that highly ordered and highly disordered systems are typically viewed as simple, and complex systems exhibit both order and disorder. This leads to the adoption of effective complexity, order, and disorder as organizing principles in the comparison of various generative art systems. This inclusive view leads to the somewhat surprising observation that generative art is as old as art itself. A number of specific artists and studies are discussed within this systems and complexity theory influenced paradigm. Finally a number of art theoretical questions are introduced to exercise the suggested generative art definition and implicit paradigm.

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