Enter the maze

Breeding Art

by Paul Curzon, Queen Mary University of London

DNA: copyright istock.com 14219518

Evolution has been used to create art by a Japanese team. In their system paintings breed by doing things like chopping two pictures in half then re-pairing the halves. The test to see if a picture survives is based on preferences set at the start by a person indicating the style of art they like. The program then runs for thousands of generations judging the results against the preferences, keeping those that fit best for the next round of breeding. The system is based on the observation that paintings by human artists follow a similar pattern of using features of existing art in new ways rather than completely inventing new ideas. The researchers think you could set up the preferences to match the style of any artist creating new 'Rembrandts' or 'Monets' by starting with their existing paintings. Would the result be a new painting by that artist? They think so!