Conditions of Creativity: Drawing and Paintings with Computers

  • Paul Crowther NUI Galway


The paper starts by formulating Cohen’s principle – the theory that, whilst computers follow a different order of creativity from humans, this difference can, nevertheless, actually be used to extend the scope of human creativity itself. The principle is explored in relation to drawing and painting with computers.An image is drawn or painted by a computer in the fullest sense when a hardware-programme relation invents new visual forms designed explicitly to be printed out, or otherwise marked, on surfaces existing independently of the computer itself. The main varieties of this are – the interactive; the projective; and the interventionist. Such images also have correlated stylistic features namely hyper-real precisionist visual qualities, and, in other cases, performative effects (where the image draws attention to the process of generation).All these features are explored in relation to the work of Patrick Tresset, Harold Cohen, and Desmond Paul Henry.