2012 / The Maze

Artwork Description:

The Maze takes its name from winding patterns that are produced by the underlying algorithm. Each abstract element is an agent created by the machine that makes the choice of its route. As time proceeds, these abstract elements travel out from their points of origin to fill the canvas. The visible trails of each agent give the algorithm its capacity to create artworks using simple elements. The machine has no aptitude in the use of color, shape, or line, but it is the intrinsic nature of the artistic components that permeate the world around us that give rise to a final art piece. The agents in the piece are searching an unseen maze which as time proceeds constricts the the final maze that forms as a product of invisible barriers being broken while each agent creates new ones. These agents work in collaboration to create abstract elements each leaving a trail of breadcrumbs, and it is the cooperation of these agents that is the foundation of a hive intelligence, which showcases the social sophistication resulting as an emergent property of simple rules. The random walks algorithm that guides the machine is a stochastic process that furthermore includes a calculated balance between the geometric elements used resulting in the inherent asymmetry that emanates from this randomized behavior. This process of random walking is an action that is at the heart of the way biological entities solve problems through trial and error, and yet, there is no mind to understand just the process and probabilities of chance. Our understanding of functions, behaviors, and properties arising from stochastic processes is fundamental in the philosophy of science and the emerging importance of generative artworks where the generative process underlying algorithms are informed by the the natural world. As such, generative art share many of the qualities of exhibited in scientific study and that make understanding nature, whether it is biology or the cosmos, so challenging. These qualities of order and disorder with varying degrees of complexity make understanding of the defined patterns seen in both physical and biological systems difficult.

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