Title: Pherographs and other hidden landscapes

Authors: Carlos M. Fernandes

Addresses: Evolutionary Systems and Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, Systems and Robotics Institute – Technical University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, TN, 6.21, Portugal

Abstract: Due to some of their traits (non-linearity, emergent behaviour, self-organisation), complex systems raised the interest of artists and theorists and went beyond a scientific framework, entering the realm of visual arts. Art with complex systems is usually referred to as artificial (or generative) art. This paper discusses pherographia, a term that describes the creative use of an artificial intelligence model based on the concepts of stigmergy and cooperation amongst social insects. The system is dynamic, interacts with different types of environment, and reflects properties of insects' societies such as self-organisation, memory and adaptability to changes. Pherographia is addressed from its genesis as a swarm model to its use as an artificial art tool and metaphor for creating a figurative and abstract body-of-work that has been presented to a heterogeneous audience. Motivation and details of the artworks are discussed, as well as their links to artificial art, digital art and photography.

Keywords: generative art; ant colony optimisation; ACO; pherographia; complex systems; visual arts; swarm intelligence; artwork; artificial art; digital art; photography; artificial life; pheromone maps; pherographs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2015.069553

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2015 Vol.8 No.2, pp.132 - 166

Accepted: 24 Sep 2012
Published online: 25 May 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article