COMMENT ON "EPIGENETIC
Roman Verostko (Leonardo 23, No. 1, 17-23,
1990) discusses his art making in terms of the theory and creative
techniques developed for his style of work created with a "personal
expert system". Verostko's software is designed to express his
personal form of preferences and to generate totally original works of
art automatically. His use of the term epigenesis emphasizes the
responsibility for the placement of choices in the structure of the
For decades art critics and theorists have been
debating the legitimacy of art made by machine; this issue is constantly
reappearing in the context of computer art. Of those artists who use
computer technology in the creative process, the 'proceduralists', a
term used by Rosebush and Kerlow for those who use expert systems,
a fundamentally purer appreciation and understanding of original
creative possibilities derived from use of the computer. In reality, few
artists have actually delivered art 'created' by machine intelligence.
Having coded his 'art concept' into a computer program, Verostko is
one of the few artists I know. of who is actually letting the power of
the computer create original works of art.
It is Verostko's program or his 'software art'
that executes color decisions, selecting from 14 available pens,
creating harmonies by overlaying color combinations for the plotted
drawing. He has also invented a device that converts the pen sleeve to
hold a traditional brush. The mimetic structure of the gestures in
simulated spontaneity was carefully developed to express the artist's
concepts that extend form-making ideas through the contrast of stroke
control and improvisation. Verostko believes that through a dialectic
process the original art concept undergoes transformation and the
software evolves form making ideas that "point the way for the
artist in designing the next generation of software".
Roman Verostko is head of the Liberal Arts
department at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is
interested in using the power of the computer to interact with
art ideas for the enrichment of art making. His current project is the
illustration (second chapter) of On the Laws of Thought, by
George Boole. This limited-edition book, to be published by the Saint
Sebastian Press of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will have an original
computer-generated work bound as frontispiece, demonstrating the
strength and endurance of his expert system.
Patric D. Prince
© 1990 ISAST, Leonardo 23:4 p 459,