We are concerned with autonomous algorithms that
produce visual art (or, perhaps equivalently, algorithms that
themselves may be viewed as (meta-) artworks). We are not
concerned with software-tools that facilitate the production of
artworks by human artists.
Most image generation algorithms do not specify one image, but
a large (often infinite) class of images. Algorithmic art is "meta-art".
Other, pre-computational approaches to meta-art constitute the
art-historical context of algorithmic art:
kinetic art, conceptual art,
interactive art, process
machines. In the case of algorithmic art, the class of possible
outcomes is specified in mathematical terms; other forms of meta-art
tend to involve human persons or other real-world processes.
Art-generation algorithms can be applied to various
modalities: images, animations, sculpture, architecture, music,
text, even facial expression and other forms of body-art. They
can be meant to be observed live in a discotheque or on the internet,
or to produce static output for art-collectors and traditional
museums. The focus of this page is image generation but
the mathematical concepts and computational methods that we encounter
may very well be applicable in other domains.