Symbol 1

Emily Weil

In this collection, each mark on the digital canvas is made by text of the algorithm that created it. When viewing Symbol 1, you’re viewing its code – logic becoming art. If you look closely at an oil painting you may see brushstrokes. If you look closely at an iteration of Symbol 1, you'll see snippets of the code that generates the piece itself: text from for() loops repeated over and over; the Random() function itself weaving through the piece; and the hash code, like an artist signature, displayed on the bottom right. Organic and mechanical forces have long been in tension in art and architecture. Art nouveau's floral curves vs. art deco's industrial geometry, Jackson Pollock's declaration “I am nature” vs. Andy Warhol's confession “I want to be a machine,” etc. This conversation continues in generative art. One collection might appear surprisingly organic, as if crafted by hand; another might appear strictly computer generated, showing the expressive power of machines. Symbol 1 joins this conversation, offering another way to synthesize the natural and the mechanical. Just as a crashing ocean wave could be explained mathematically by the forces that generated it, an image in Symbol 1 appears almost chaotic while revealing the logic that created it. About the title: Symbol 1 is a term from First Principles, a chapter in The Mathematical Analysis of Logic (1847) by George Boole, a founder of modern logic. For Boole, “symbol 1” represents “the Universe comprehending every conceivable class of objects, whether actually existing or not.”












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