The Role of Motion Dynamics in Abstract Painting

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Alexander Schubert and Katja Mombaur: The Role of Motion Dynamics in Abstract Painting. In: Computational Creativity 2013 ICCC 2013, 210-214.



We investigate the role of dynamic motions performed by artists during the creative process of art generation. We are especially interested modern artworks inspired by the Action Painting style of Jackson Pollock.

Our aim is to evaluate and model the role of these mo- tions in the process of art creation. We are using mathe- matical approaches from optimization and optimal con- trol to capture the essence (cost functions of an opti- mal control problem) of these movements, study it and transfer it to feasible motions for a robot arm. Addition- ally, we performed studies of human responses to paint- ings assisted by an image analysis framework, which computes several image characteristics. We asked peo- ple to sort and cluster different action-painting images and performed PCA and Cluster Analysis in order to determine image traits that cause certain aesthetic expe- riences in contemplators.

By combining these approaches, we can develop a model that allows our robotic platform to monitor its painting process using a camera system and – based on an evaluation of its current status – to change its move- ment to create human-like paintings. This way, we en- able the robot to paint in a human-like way without any further control from an operator.

Extended Abstract


author = {Alexander Schubert and Katja Mombaur},
title = {The Role of Motion Dynamics in Abstract Painting},
editor = {Simon Colton, Dan Ventura, Nada Lavrac, Michael Cook},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Computational Creativity},
series = {ICCC2013},
year = {2013},
month = {Jun},
location = {Sydney, New South Wales, Australia},
pages = {210-214},
url = {, },
publisher = {International Association for Computational Creativity},
keywords = {computational, creativity},

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