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Master Thesis Computational expressionism : a study of drawing with computation

Author(s): Joanna Maria Berzowska.
Master Thesis: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, February, 1999.
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This thesis presents computational expressionism, an exploration of drawing using a computer that redefines the concepts of line and composition for the digital medium. It examines the artistic process involved in computational drawing, addressing the issues of skill, algorithmic style, authorship, re-appropriation, interactivity, dynamism, and the creative/evaluative process. The computational line augments the traditional concept of line making as a direct deposit or a scratching on a surface. Digital representation is based on computation; appearance is procedurally determined. The computational line embodies not only an algorithmic construction, but also dynamic and interactive behavior. A computer allows us to construct drawing instruments that take advantage of the dynamism, interactivity, behavioral elements and other features of a programming environment. Drawing becomes a two-fold process, at two distinct levels of interaction with the computer. The artist has to program the appearance and behavior of lines and subsequently draw with these lines by dragging a mouse or gesturing with some other input device. The compositions incorporate the beauty of computation with the creative impetus of the hand, whose apparent mistakes, hesitations and inspirations form a complex and critical component of visual expression.

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