Next Article in Journal
On the Zeros of the Differential Polynomial φ(z)f2(z)f′(z)2 − 1
Next Article in Special Issue
Turning Hild’s Sculptures into Single-Sided Surfaces
Previous Article in Journal
Alexandrov L-Fuzzy Pre-Proximities
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Mathematics 2019, 7(1), 86;

Secondary, Near Chaotic Patterns from Analogue Drawing Machines

Fine Artist, Abergavenny NP7 5EH, Wales, UK
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Topological Modeling)
Full-Text   |   PDF [10797 KB, uploaded 22 January 2019]   |  


Chaos is now recognized as one of three emergent topics of study in the 21c. It is seen as appropriate to examine this in art practice. Accordingly, this paper is written from an art perspective. It does not mimic a traditional mathematical or science format, presenting hypothesis, repeat testing, and a conclusion. The art process operates differently, and chaos is seen in graphic terms, veers more to philosophy, and is obviously subjective. The intent in researching secondary patterns, near the edge of chaos, is to make expressive graphic art images as art works, testing how close they might come to a chaotic state whilst retaining visual coherence. This underpins the author’s current research, but it is recognised as being a very narrow and specialized subset of analogue art activity. The way in which analogue generative art differs from the more common use of digital computers is addressed. Unlike the latter, the work involves designing and making the machines, making the programmers, and writing the algorithms; this is implicit in the text. A brief look at drawing machine history is presented, demonstrating how the author’s machines differ from others. A contextual cross refence is also made, where appropriate, to artists using digital means. The author’s research has documented practitioners who choose an analogue route to make art. However, hardly any of them create programmes to generate coherent images. This shortage creates problems when attempting to cite similar work. Whilst the general principle underlying the work presented is algorithmic, a significant element of quasi-random input is incorporated, consistent with a study of chaos. Emergent facets are implicit, such as the art process, design problem solving, the relationship between quasi-random and determinism, the psychology of evaluation, and the philosophy of how art works. From the author’s Programmable Analogue Drawing Machines, two are selected for this paper which draw Lissajous figures, use X:Y axes, turntables, Direct Current motors, and an asynchronous pen-lift mechanism. Simple instructions generate complex patterns in a similar vein to Alan Turings topics of phyllotaxis and morphogenesis. These aspects will be discussed, presenting two machines that demonstrate these properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: Art process; analogue drawing machines; generative art; near chaos graphic images Art process; analogue drawing machines; generative art; near chaos graphic images

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Tait, J. Secondary, Near Chaotic Patterns from Analogue Drawing Machines. Mathematics 2019, 7, 86.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Mathematics EISSN 2227-7390 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top