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Themesicon: navigation pathGenerative Toolsicon: navigation pathGenerative Art
Aaron (Cohen, Harold), 1974Game of Life (Conway, John Horton)

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generated and became the material of Mohr s artistic work. For the cycle Frühe Algorithmische Arbeiten (early algorithmic works) (1969-1972), Mohr added text to his pictures, thus making the procedures used to make graphics by computer more accessible, and, at the same time, demystifying the role of the artist by underlining the automated nature of the decision-making process. At the beginning of the 1970s, Harold Cohen developed the computer programme Aaron[14]. This drawing machine first produced abstract and then figurative drawings, to which Cohen later added colour. In the 1980s, Cohen succeeded in equipping the programme with the ability to make independent colour choices as well as to apply the colours itself. The programme became functional with a complex set of rules in which Cohen formulated generally accepted aesthetic requirements for lines, surfaces, forms and colours and analysed their arrangement on a sheet of paper. In this way, he worked out the generally accepted characteristics of each of the elements and provided them with small inaccuracies for purposes of variation. Automated creation then, must first of all proceed from a


generalizable representability, not from the individual characteristics of a form. What is represented is not a tree, but rather the principle. Bense and Cohen attempted to turn aesthetic decision-making processes into algorithms, that is, to analyse the basic creative questions and break them down into workable units. This method clearly differs from that of image generation by means of fractal sets, something which was becoming very popular and which merely translated mathematical approximation processes into points of colour. So a canon was created with possible rules for automated application of creative decisions. In 1970, the American mathematician John Horton Conway developed his Game of Life[15] as one of a series of so-called simulation games. This simulation involves the development of succeeding generations of cells on a chessboard-type grid. Depending on their neighbouring cells, they either remain alive, die or create new life. The development of the following generation depends on certain rules, specified for its predecessor generation. Even with relatively simple output configurations, it is extremely difficult to foresee the next-generation constellation. It has to be

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