Selective Extraction of Point Sets from Photographs as Starting Events of Generative-Art Line Drawings

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H. E. Dehlinger, Matthew R. Lewis: Selective Extraction of Point Sets from Photographs as Starting Events of Generative-Art Line Drawings. In: Generative Art 2004.



Assuming a reductionistic position, a drawing is essentially an arrangement of lines and strokes. Whether placed on the paper by the hand of an artist or by a generative algorithm, a drawing emerges in both instances. Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to clearly distinguish between the two production processes: “drawn by the hand of an artist”, and “drawn with an algorithmic generative process”. In each one of these distinct universes, the “Universe of hand drawing” and the “Universe of machine drawing”, infinitely many very unique drawings exist. For the execution of a line, a certain (though not necessary) logic prevails: The line starts at a defined point on the plane and it ends somewhere on the plane. The decision of where to start has to be made first, then the line may “develop”.

In this paper we concentrate on the question of starting points with a focus to generate those from existing photographic images. A procedure is proposed to extract and collect point sets as starting events for generative-art line drawings. A number of strategies are suggested, one of which is implemented using “Max” and “Jitter”, commercially available software used primarily for real-time sound and video processing. The extracted point-sets are then used as inputs to a generative programme. Experimental drawings, following the rule system of this programme have been generated and executed on a pen plotter. The results are encouraging and they suggest interesting aspects for further research.

This project also forms the test bed of our investigations into the use of collaborative software, facilitating joint creation of generative artwork. A number of emerging technologies will be discussed which are enabling the interactive process of rapid generation and evaluation to be globally distributed.

Extended Abstract


Used References

[1] Dehlinger, H.; Qi, Dongxu "Art Experiments and Mathematical Explorations into the Universe of Machine Generated Drawings", Proceedings of the International Conference on Electronic Arts, Chicago, ISEA 1997.

[2] "Bildnerische Experimente mit der geplotteten Linie" in: Bauer, Dehlinger, Mathias; "Design, Kunst, Computer: Computer in den künstlerischen Bereichen", Verlag Jenior und Preßler, Kassel, Okt. 1991, ISBN 3-928172-07-7

[3] Csurivision Ltd. “The Art and Ideas of Charles Csuri,”, 2004.

[4] Harold Cohen., 2004.

[5] Artbots: The Robot Talent Show., 2004.

[6] Margaret Boden. The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms. Basic Books, 1991.

[7] Douglas Hofstadter. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies. HarperCollins, 1996.

[8] Cycling `74. Max/MSP/Jitter., 2004.

[9] TheCodingMonkeys. SubEthaEdit., 2004.

[10] “What is Wiki.”, 2004.

[11] Apple Computer, Inc. iChat AV., 2004.

[12] Hans Dehlinger Zeichnungen, kassel university press GmbH, ISBN 3-89958-534-8, Kassel 2004,


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