Ideas and Process

What is complexity? When does something, become complex enough that we consider it organic?

And how much complexity does it take for us to consider something as random?

Does real randomness exist? Or is randomness a moving horizon, defined by our abilities and our knowledge?

I just want my works to make these topics more accessible. Something that you could use as your desktop wallpaper or hang it on your actual wall, a friend would ask you what it is, and you could start a conversation around these ideas.


Random, Blue

Take for example, Random, Blue and Not Random, Blue. They look so much alike, but one is random and the other is 100% deterministic.

Random, Blue was generated by selecting a random square on a 36×18 grid and painting it with a random color selected among 3 shades of blue. I repeated this proccess 10,000 times. If you put asside the discussion of how random is a random number generated by my programming language of choice, you could say that this is a randomly generated image.

Not Random, Blue

Now, compare it to Not Random, Blue.

Not Random, Blue was generated using a very simple mathematical construct called a 2D cellular automaton, which is also often called a “turmite” or “ant”. Imagine an ant with a very simple brain that can do the following: 

  1. if the square it is on is blue1, then it paints the square blue2, moves forward one square, paint the next square blue2 and turns right.
  2. if the square it is on is blue2, then it paints the square blue3, moves forward one square, paint the next square blue3 and turns left.
  3. and if the square it is on is blue3, then it paints the square blue1, moves forward one square and turns right.

Just repeat the proccess enough times (5629 in this case), and you will get an identical copy of Not Random, Blue.


Here is how Not Random, Blue was created.