“Algorithm + You = Art”

Viewers play a major role in a Hope professor’s award-winning entry in the international ArtPrize competition held this fall. They collaborate for an experience that is different every time.

Created by Dr. Charles Cusack, professor of computer science and mathematics, “Algorithm + You = Art” invites those visiting it to enter a phrase and pick a color palette and a script to run, with a new work of art resulting and being displayed on-screen based on their choices. It also provides a chance to share in Cusack’s long-standing passion for blending science and aesthetics.

“My art is highly influenced by my day job as a professor of both computer science and mathematics at Hope College,” Cusack said. “My art combines my love for combinatorics (the study of finite discrete structures), algorithms, and aesthetics.”

Professor Charles Cusack’s award-winning digital work “Algorithm + You = Art” engages those visiting it in a creative process that blends science and aesthetics. They are invited to enter a phrase and pick a color palette and a script to run, with a new piece of art based on their choices — including an encoding of their phrase — resulting and displayed.

“I enjoy creating abstract works that draw the viewer in with vivid colors and interesting patterns,” he said. “My work can be appreciated merely for its aesthetic quality, but those who wish to look closer can also appreciate the deeper mathematical meaning that is sometimes present.”

“Algorithm + You = Art” won runner-up in the Digital category of the Juried Awards portion of ArtPrize, which competition-wide featured works by about 750 artists from 15 different countries, and across all media, that were displayed in venues throughout Grand Rapids, Michigan. While no longer available at the downtown location that hosted it during the Sept. 15-Oct. 2 event, “Algorithm + You = Art” is available only a few clicks away via the magic of the Internet. Those interested in creating their own piece (or pieces) are invited to visit the link below. The resulting artwork will be displayed on their phone or computer and emailed to them.


A story with more about Charles Cusack’s participation in this year’s ArtPrize is also available on Hope’s website.