Algorithms in Art

Magda Stanová

Algorithms in Art is a visual essay that analyses creative processes and formulas in art. Art and the creative process are often treated with a big amount of veneration, as if they were something transcendental and mysterious. Artists, when talking about their process, often refer to intuition. In many cases this may be a way of trying to conceal arbitrary decisions that led to the production of a given piece.

In his essay ‘The Philosophy of Composition’, Edgar Allan Poe talks about the process involved in writing his poem ‘The Raven’. He suggests that art – is his case poetry – is a sequence of conscious decisions made according to an initial intention. I’m taking Poe’s essay as a starting point for my investigations in this project, which deals with topics such as insight, kitsch and copyright. Both its content and form are inspired by neuroscience, biology and logic.

algorithms-5The Algorithms in Art series contains, at this point, 23 drawings (ink, acrylic, and markers on paper) of various sizes, one object (a chair with embedded scales) and ‘Creative Struggles’ leaflets.


Magda Stanová is a PhD candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She received an MFA in new genres from San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied as a Fulbright scholar. She also holds an MFA in photography and new media from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her book W cieniu fotografii (2008) was published by the Foundation for Visual Arts in Krakow, Poland. She is interested in the theory of photography, the analysis of creative processes, urban development and cartography.

One Comment

on “Algorithms in Art
One Comment on “Algorithms in Art
  1. Thanks for recalling Poe’s concept of composition, which is identical with the modern cybernetical notion of the decision making cascade. I constructed such a model for text structure of medieval verse drama, see my paper Epoche, Gattung, individueller Wert. Zur empirischen Stilgeschichte des mittelniederländischen Dramas, „Zagadnienia Rodzajów Literackich” 33, 1990: 27-53, online the page with the diagram:

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