Week 12: Activity – Algorithmic Art

How to draw a picture (Christian Park style)

1. Get a sheet of blank paper.

2. Draw a simple geometric shape at the center of the paper (a circle, triangle, square, etc.)

3. Take the piece of paper and any writing utensil and carry it with you throughout your day.

4. Along with the writing utensil, give the people you pass by or meet the piece of paper and ask them to add something, or anything, to the drawing (Remind them to keep their contribution creative yet simple so they don’t “overdraw” or hijack the drawing).

5.  Continue Step 4 until the page is filled to the point where no more drawings can be added.

6. Stop and admire the artwork.

Before

Before

For this activity, what I was going for was a set of instructions to create an artwork that is truly original. An artwork made, not by a single artist with a specific intent in mind, but rather a collection of people that each add an independent, random contribution to the piece. I got the idea for this activity from personal experience. In my younger years, I would do similar types of drawing with a friend or group of friends. However for the activity, I wanted to take it to another level, also asking strangers to take part, not just people I know.

After

After

The results of my activity were very interesting. Through it, I got a vague understanding of the various “subjects” I asked to take part. I saw each person’s contribution as a glimpse into their psyche and perhaps what their creativity (or in some cases a lack of creativity) is geared towards, whether that be something as simple as an apple, specific as a pants design, or as random as a floating face with exaggerated features. Though my procedure required me to get out of my comfort zone to approach strangers and not just people I knew, I found the results rewarding and very insightful to the minds of the people that I know and those of the people I may never see again.

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