Taitographs: Drawings made by Machines

Jack Tait
Bridges London: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2006)
Pages 403–410


If a machine is instructed to make drawings and the results are viewed in the same way that a person’s drawings are read, then speculation about the nature of creativity and art is not only possible but desirable. The decision making process becomes transparent because the maths, mechanics and after treatment are available for scrutiny, unlike the partially subconscious aspects of a person’s drawing activity. It is proposed that the ideal way to meet the ‘Bridges’ aspirations is to follow Harold Cohen’s exhortation that the most important task at the end of the 20th C (and beginning of the 21st) is to study how art works. My machines are electro-mechanical devices; from simple instructions they produce rich and complex images. Questions raised by machine drawings will be examined below.