John Critchett

Digital Artist
Plymouth, Michigan, USA

I work in algorithmic digital art, primarily cellular automata, spirolaterals, and polyiamond tessellations.

The finished product will be a digital archival print. Algorithmic art involves the use of predetermined formulas or procedures to create a design. A process of discovery is involved as the process "evolves." The artist does not necessarily know what the final product will look like. There is still room, however, for the artist to add personal touches to the work in the form of embellishments, and color patterns. The final piece, therefore, may combine the processes of discovery and creation in a way that has never been visualized before.

Blue Snowflake
40 x 40 cm
Archival Digital Print

This work is a cellular automata design employing equilateral triangles as cells on an isometric grid. The design grew "organically" from three triangles symmetrically arranged around a single point. For each successive generation, triangles were coded as being either "on" or "off" based on a simple rule regarding the status of neighboring triangles. A triangle was turned on if it shared exactly one side with a triangle that was turned on in the previous generation; otherwise, it was left off. The process was terminated when an aesthetically pleasing "snowflake" pattern was produced. TurboCAD was used to create the design. J.H. Conway and Stephen Wolfram have pioneered the exploration of cellular automata designs.