Digital Art Museum
James Faure Walker    

Algorithmic Art

James Faure Walker is an artist, writer and educator. He is currently artist in residence at Kingston University, London, UK

In the Pozzio coffee bar next to the Barbican tube there's an animated discussion going on about algorithmic art. Apart from the two cappuccinos on the table, there's a lap-top, and scrolling across the screen is a Persian carpet. As it scrolls it seethes, oscillates, and re-arranges its symmetries like gauze over scurries of luminous ants. Jamy Sheridan is showing me his real-time magic carpet. It's character-based and fast - the letter D is assigned a little onion form and so on - and wonderfully low-tech. At this scale it's a de luxe screen-saver, but it's really the compressed data for an installation where the image is projected down onto sand, with music by Sheridan's colleague John Dunn generated through the same program. Effectively the viewer gets inside the piece. As Sheridan elaborates on the symbolism of the carpets - the sacred gardens, the pools, fountains, trees, flowers, hedges - outside in Aldersgate the buses clatter by and the temps get their take-away baps.

This paper is published in CGI Magazine, Summer 1997

Permission: sought



Essay to come