Art From Code: A Response to Vera Molnár

When exploring Vera Molnár’s work and reading about her process, what struck me most about her art was the way she was able to make works manufactured by coding software look handmade and organic. This effect can be most often observed when she begins with a structure and slowly adds more noise too the elements within the drawing until they lose their uniformity, so this is the approach I decided to take when emulating her heuristic. I began by layering two shapes in the background of the drawing that would serve as the anchor from which one could measure the movement of the lines. I then wrote a series of loops with different stipulations for if statements based on modding x- and y-values. I varied the colors and stroke weights of the lines as well to try and break up the uniformity of the image.

Complying with Molnár’s approach of gradualism, the first alteration I decided to make to the code was to add noise to the x-values of the lines and shift them to the left.

From there, I decided to shift the x-values instead to the right and add even more noise to the equations.

After this, I decided to add noise to the y-values and shift them upward.

Finally, I shifted the y-values downward and added even more noise.

There is certainly a creativity to repetition, and while gradualism does not often demonstrate immense change within a series, it demands attention be paid to specific choices made when adjusting elements within the drawing. It essentially slows down the creative process and shifts focus to small changes that might be overlooked or taken for granted when coding multiple things in one iteration.

I believe the meaning that works created through gradualism and repetition resides in the change demonstrated by a series. When works such as these are presented in a series, they become a map demonstrating how the artist began at point a, the first iteration, and eventually arrived at point b, the final iteration. Fundamentally, the meaning of works of gradualism reside within a process rather than a single image.

I don’t feel the entire effort of the series was governed by machine because there were still conscious decisions made on my part regarding what I should instruct the machine to do. If the entire effort were governed by machine, it would require no conscious decisions.