Cellular Automata


Well-known member

I'm just ten minutes into this presentation, by an artist not a scientist, introducing cellular automata, and I felt I should share it here. I think @catalog especially will appreciate it.

I'm also gonna look for some software that lets you create your own parameters.

Something of a gnostic systems theory to be ascertained here, stigmergy, etc.

May even shed a light on theoretical physics, which seems to be Wolfram's angle.
still not watched this, has anyone?


Well-known member
There's a number of properties of this kind of algorithmically generated art that make it conceptually interesting to me. It's non-deterministic, so there's no sense of "final" form. Because it takes environmental/human inputs, each instantiation of a rule will have a different unpredictable end state, (if there is one.) Algo "art" defies regular categories because it is fundamentally just a rule for producing complexity, not a specific form. Thus its form agnostic. One could have a near-infinite number of ways of instantiating an automata rule, whether it be virtually, (e.g simulated visually on a screen, or turned into an audio file) physically, (e.g create a mechanical instantiation of a rule). Thus the "art" is a type with many different possible tokens.
Yeah and it also shows that the resulting complexity needn’t be foreseen by the creator, which is philosophically profound in my opinion.


Well-known member
I imagine you could have art exhibits dedicated to instantiating one rule in many different ways--one could, as previously mentioned even create dynamic navigatable environments and space via a rule, (think Minecraft worlds IRL). Each time you went to the exhibit you would see something different, but perhaps you noticed a similar reoccurring pattern
You could even have multiple people wearing VR headsets in the same space, and have each one experiencing a different landscape, while still displaying all of them to one another.
I'd recommend that video in the OP if you haven't seen it already. I think the implications are profound for a number of areas, from art to biochemistry.


Well-known member
yeah watched the entire thing last night. incredible that someone was actually working on this because I had similar thoughts before about the artistic potential of cellular automata. I heard he is going to release more videos so excited to see what develops of this. Will try my hand at the web app he has deployed on github later tonight
  • Like
Reactions: sus
I also wonder what applications cellular automata could have in higher dimensional spaces than just 2S+1T or 3S+1T, maybe in datasets where dimensions have a more clinical significance, like playing out how a certain tissue cell could proliferate within a heterogenous body.


Well-known member
I like the idea of algorithms being art a lot

Not even representing them visually but you can that helps but it's like subtitles or something, an aid not "the work"

It's a bit like how games are finally getting recognized as art form.

I don't know quite what this would or does look like. An algorithm where if you can read algorithms you look at it and go, wow. That is an algorithm.

Maybe like inventing quicksort or something lmao