Notes on Verostko's Algorithmic Art
Intentions. Verostko's work, as a painter, has always shown a special interest in visualizing "the unseen". For him, original visual forms, with qualities not seen before, hold their own fascinating reality without re-presenting the shapes and forms of our external world.. From 1963 to the late 1970's he experimented with combinations of conscious imagination and automatic gesture searching for new visual forms. These experimental works, exhibited as "Imaging the Unseen" (1972), led him to see the potential of creating new forms with a computer.
Around 1981 he began experimenting with computer code as a means to open new frontiers of unseen form. With computing power coupled to "form generating ideas" requiring extensive computation, he opened a new world of form. Since then, somewhat like the composer of music, Verostko spends endless hours composing his drawing instructions in the form of software. These instructions are algorithms that provide the detailed procedure for creating the drawings. By composing his own software to drive a pen plotter, he learned how to achieve original forms with a personal style, using traditional artist's materials. By 1987 he had achieved coded brush strokes with a physical paint brush.
Oriental brushes with ferules adapted by the artist to fit his plotter's drawing arm.
Procedure. The studio procedure employs pen and brush strokes that are generated with his software and executed with the drawing arm of a pen plotter. For brush strokes, Chinese brushes have been adapted to fit the plotter's drawing arm. The pen and brush strokes display qualities associated with his own hand. The routines also generate text-like elements associated with manuscripts and oriental calligraphy. Some of the works, reminiscent of medieval manuscripts, are enhanced with a touch of gold leaf crafted in the traditional way. Works of the past several years are predominantly pen drawing with occasional insertion of brush strokes.
Content and meaning. Over the years the software has evolved by stages yielding a series of works for each stage - Pathway, Sun, Gaia, Scarab, and Apocalypse. Each of these series has distinctive formal qualities associated with its form generators. None of the works are made with intentional representations in mind. Titles are subjective and often derived from evocative qualities associated with the work. The viewer's own experience and interpretation complements and completes the work. These works are testaments of information age technology. They invite us to savor both the beauty and the mystery of their algorithmic generators - not so much for their logic as for the grace and poetry they yield.
Studio technical tools & materials. Each work is an original pen plotted drawing executed with traditional artist materials. Verostko uses pen plotters to draw each line with ink pens that he controls with his own software. Studio inks and papers are selected for their enduring archival qualities. Hardware consists of a personal computer and a pen plotter with various technical pens and oriental brushes adapted to fit the plotter's drawing arm.
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