#
The Computer Artist and Art Critic

J. C. Sprott
###
ABSTRACT

For decades, the generation of art by machines has fascinated both
scientists
and artists. In this chapter, I describe how modern computers can
generate
and evaluate fractal patterns. The patterns are the products of
mathematical
feedback loops, better known to mathematicians as iterated maps and
iterated
function systems. The computer solves the equations with random
choices
of parameters and thereby produces an unlimited variety of patterns.
These
patterns can be characterized by numerical quantities known as the
Lyapunov
exponent and the fractal dimension. In studies with human subjects,
I have
found a correlation between these quantities and the aesthetic
quality
of the patterns. This suggests that the computer can be taught to
generate
fractal patterns that appeal to humans. I provide computer code and
examples
of the patterns produced by this technique. I also discuss the
related
problem of using a computer to evaluate art produced by humans. The
future
of these methods holds unlimited promise.
Ref: J. C. Sprott, in "Fractal
Horizons: The
Future Use of Fractals", Clifford A. Pickover, ed., St. Martin's
Press:
New York (1996), pp. 77-115

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