Artist Talk & Presentation:


/ form generators as code

Roman Verostko

Founders Room Quad 170

Monday April 13th, 7 pm


Untitled1Left Picture: Roman holds his brush

Right Picture: A machine holds the brush.

In his presentation Verostko outlines sources that dominated his pursuit as an artist in the last 68 years. He identifies “form-generating” ideas from early 20th Century pioneers of non-objective art that influenced his pre-algorist work. He illustrates how those underlying concepts shaped his approach to structuring algorithms for creating art. He illustrates the transition from what he calls “form-idea in mind” to “form-idea in code”. In doing so he identifies the power of algorithmic form generators and the recursive charm of the forms they yield. He points to his fascination with circuit logic that led him to his limited edition honoring George Boole and other projects honoring Alan Turing and Norbert Wiener.





Verostko remains a master of the

plotted line.”

                    – Grant Taylor, “American Algorists: …”

Roman Verostko

Born in 1929, USA.


Roman, who pioneered coded procedures for expressionist brushwork is also known for his richly colored algorithmic pen & ink drawings. Although schooled as an illustrator at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (class of 1949), he began experimenting with programming in the 1960’s when he created electronically synchronized audio-visual programs. As a Bush Fellow at MIT in 1970 he set out to “humanize our experience of emerging technologies”. In 1970 he studied FORTRAN at the Control Data Institute and exhibited his first fully algorist work, “The Magic Hand of Chance” in 1982. This program, written in BASIC, grew into his master drawing program, HODOS, generating art with both ink pens and brushes mounted on drawing machines. The front and end pieces for his 1990 limited edition of George Boole’s “Derivation of the Laws…” demonstrated the emerging power of generative art. Twenty years later, his “Algorithmic Poetry” exhibition celebrated “generative art” as visual poetry (DAM, Berlin, 2010). He currently works with the “mergings” of hand & machine.


2009 SIGGRAPH Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement; Artec ’95, Recommendatory Prize, Nagoya, Japan; Golden Plotter Award, Germany, 1994; Professor Emeritus, MCAD, 1994; Prix Ars Electronica, Honorable Mention, 1993; Director, ISEA 1993; Bush Fellow, Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT, 1970; Outstanding Educators of America, 1971, 1974.