Roman Verostko


Illuminated Universal Turing Machine

Plotter drawing on rag paper

40 x 30 inches


Artist Statement:

My work fuses high technology with venerable artistic traditions. Over a period of ten years I have developed software to embody my working style as an artist. With this software, a personal computer, and a multi-pen plotter, I compose worlds of form from randomly generated bits of information. Viewed as "precious objects," these works are often illuminated with gold to celebrate the computing processes of our "information age."

For the 1995 SIGGRAPH show - piece the algorithm for a Universal Turing Machine has been plotted and illuminated in a format reminiscent of a medieval manuscript. This algorithm, based on a version presented by Roger Penrose in The Emperor's New Mind, is a specific number represented with 5,495 binary digits. Presented in the manner of illuminated "scripture" it holds special authority in our information age as the prototype procedure for general computing machinery. The illumination forms were initiated from randomly cast coordinates acting as control points. Gold leaf, applied by hand, emphasizes the controlling generator derived from those control points. This work celebrates the genre of algorithm with which it was made.