Sol Lewitt Generator β€” richard lapham

Sol Lewitt Generator


In my first job out of college working on an online catalogue raisonne for artists represented by Pace Gallery. I was assigned to make the Sol Lewitt website and spent the better part of a summer finding every documented version of every Sol Lewitt (>1000) artworks. His work is programmatic in nature; they are essentially instructions that describe exactly how to make a drawing. For example: 

β€œOn a wall surface, any continuous stretch of wall, using a hard pencil, place fifty points at random. The points should be evenly distributed over the area of the wall. All of the points should be connected by straight lines. β€œ

These instructions have a formula to them and using Markov chains in rita.js I'd like to generate artificial Sol Lewitt titles. I've thought a lot about what to do with these titles, and decided to publish them as a twitter bot that called followers to draw and submit their interpretations of them. 

As a next step I'd like to create installations from these instructions. There have also been a number of people using Processing to recreate Sol Lewitt Wall Drawings - it makes sense as a procedural language. Although it's an impossible task to hard code an interpretation of each generated title. I attempted a processing sketch that adapted and changed with the parameters of the new title. 

The arguments I passed through to processing were based on a few common features throughout the titles. Using rita.js (rita.kwic) to simply check for words in the title, I looked for "color" (black, white, red) for the fill value, the "mark" (whether to use lines, points or arcs), and two booleans for "grid" and "corners" (to see if the sketch should use a grid and where to begin the marks). Needless to say the sketch is a birds nest of conflicting logic. 

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