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This project is one of my first attempt to explore the redistribution of control between human and computer agents in the creation of visual artworks. The machine is not a mere tool at my service but an active agent that can take decisions that I cannot contrast. In this specific project, coded on Processing, I can control the initial position of a virtual pen on a virtual canvas. As I trace a line, a number of autonomous agents come into existence from the trace and independently start roaming throughout the canvas leaving a trace behind them. I can then decide the location of the origin of the agents but I am neglected control on their evolution. Despite being constrained by this limitation, I can still be involved in the creation of the artwork by creating new agents. Divesting part of the control to the machine in digital art thus offers me the possibility to explore new possibilities. Without the possibility of entirely influencing the evolution of the piece, I am pushed to find creative workarounds and to surrender to a more balanced collaboration with the machine.

The behaviour of the agents can be modelled on any mathematical function. In the figures, the behaviour of the agents is modelled on an adapted version of the Perlin Noise, which produces a harmonic succession of numbers that is more organic than that of pure random.

  • Morreale, F. Divesting Control to the Machine in Digital Art. Proc. EVA London. 2017.