Art & Culture

Can you make art by algorithm?

A new exhibition seeks to discover whether art can be written by rules.

Art often breaks convention, forcing new perspectives upon its audience, subverting axioms and accepted truths. Simply creating art is recognized as a radical act in a society founded on stringent rules. Art is so often considered a deviation.

Programmed, a new exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art explores artwork that refuses to break the rules. The show, which includes works created between 1965 and 2018, establishes connections between works of art based on instructions. The pieces on display are all “programmed” using instructions, rules and code. Beyond owing their form and aesthetic to those rules, they inherently question the use of programming in their creation, challenging our understanding of art as an emotionally-driven, deeply human practice.

At a time when our world is increasingly driven by automated systems, Programmed traces how rules and instructions in art have both responded to and been shaped by technologies, resulting in profound changes to our image culture.

7 September 2018