AARON and Computer Generated Art

Well, I questioned the mailman and still have not made any headway in my investigation. The neighbors are next on my list of potential witnesses.

In more important news, I recently went to an art exhibit (I know, it’s surprising I actually went to something that doesn’t have anything to do with books) and saw some artwork that was quite peculiar. They were by a machine called AARON, a computer-programed drawing machine designed by the late artist Harold Cohen. He invented it in the ’70s and continued working on it throughout his career. AARON produces original drawings – or as original as it can within the limitations of its code. What I find most interesting about it is that it challenges the concepts of “art” and “originality.” Also I thought the drawings were really quite striking!

Seeing these works made me think of my friend Sarah and the work she is doing at UMW right now, what with her computer generated novel, questions of authorship, and what not.



I’ll admit, I am slightly concerned about generating a 50,000 word novel from code. I’m not used to code and they certainly don’t teach it here at Hogwarts! I wish I could simply cast a spell and have it done for me. But that would violate the Honor Code, not teach me anything, and be an easy way out. I appriaictae a good challenge every now and then, but this seems like it will be a huge challenge that I’m hesitant to take on. I’m hoping that we’ll learn more about coding and be offered some tutorials before we’re tasked with starting the assignment. For now, I’m just going to explore code that other people have written and take my weekend easy.