2008 - Algorithmic Composition

2008 AC17 07 orange gray light yellow

The above represents my current best understanding of algorithmic composition.

The C# program AC17 decides where to place the inner rectangle and where to place the orange bars. Three basic colors were chosen by Colette.

Try this story. Since several people know that I want to learn as much as I can about composition, a woman appears who says that she is a master of visual composition and is ready to help me. "Wonderful!" I say. "May I explain where I am at?" "Of course."

So I say that I have always figured that a person who was a master of composition would be able to write programs to draw interesting pictures. "Of course. I have a PhD in programming from Harvard. My work has been shown in 150 national capitals -- and Bismark, ND," she says.

And I add that it is easier for me to think about something complex if I try a very simple example. "Reductionism! My favorite topic."

So it seems to me that to get started with composition, one would think about lining things up horizontally. And to make it easier, just lining up vertical lines and rectangles.

There is a long pause. She looks down at the floor. "Hmm, I've never thought about that. Are you sure you don't want me to tell you how to compose the moon in the sky or about the arrangement of people in a family portrait when all but one of them are dwarves?" "No, I just want to arrange vertical lines."

"That's something I'll have to work on," she says and walks away quickly.

I yell after her, "wait, please tell me some theory about why most images are placed in the middle of the picture." But, she is too far away and does not respond.