What’s Art & Algorithms? And why this name?

Art & Algorithms is a festival of discovery and fun, based on arts in the digital domain.  Algorithms are important to us in our everyday lives, and can be basically defined like this:

1. An algorithm is: a set of steps to take to solve a problem.
2. An algorithm is: a way in which art can be explored and generated.

peanutbutter500We have to thank Art & Algorithm digital artist, Nathan Selikoff, for this enticing description useful in introducing algorithms and programming language at the intersection of art and technology.

It’s simple: an algorithm is a set of steps!
For example, here’s an algorithm to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. YUM!:

1. Get a piece of bread
2. Spread peanut butter on it
3. Get another piece of bread
4. Spread jelly on it
5. Put the two pieces of bread together
6. Eat it!

But is it really so simple? Where’s the bread? How do you “spread”? How do you put the two pieces of bread together?

You and I know how to do these things, but try telling a computer how to make a sandwich! When you write an algorithm for a computer, you have to be very specific, and you have to speak the computer’s language. You do this by using a programming language.

Read more on Nathan Selikoff’s Training page: http://nathanselikoff.com/training/what-is-an-algorithm