<< Archive MenuHistory | Main MenuSearch  |  Contact

Documentation for Roman Verostko's participation

algorithmic drawings

Contemporary Art & the Mathematical Instinct


Tweed Museum of Art
University of Minnesota, Duluth
November 5, 2003 -January 12, 2004

Center for the Arts
Rutgers University, Camden, NJ Feb - March, 2004

University Art Museums, Marsh Art Gallery University of Richmond, Virginia
Oct 26 to Dec 12, 2004

Illuminated Universal Turing Machine, 30" by 44", 1995. Algorithmic pen and ink drawing with gold leaf enhancement. The central area displays a number that is the code for a Universal Turing Machine (UTM). This version, in expanded binary, is quoted from Chapter 2 of the The Emperors New Mind by Roger Penrose. This number is an algorithm, in expanded binary, for a UTM. In the tradition of illuminated manuscripts this algorithm is presented as a highly treasured text that has played a seminal role in the birth of 20th Century computers.  The form enhancements celebrating the algorithm are generated with the artist’s code that requires the logic of  a UTM for its execution, thus being a form of  “Turing on Turing”.

The Project: This is one of several families of algorithmic pen plotted drawings presented as illuminations of the Universal Turing Machine code. These drawings, as in medieval illuminations,  celebrate Alan Turing's historic work with universal problem solver procedures. For a cyberspace version presented as a self portrait click here.

For more information on UTM's click here.

  Cyberflower VII,  Algorithmic pen & ink drawing, 2000. 23" by 30".  The cyberflower series demonstrates that a new frontier of form emerges for artists who create original form generators
Ezekiel Series IV,  Algorithmic pen & ink drawing with gold leaf enhancement, 1996. 30" by 44".  
Two Thousand Improvisations, Celebrating 2000 years,  Algorithmic pen & ink  drawing, 1999. 24" by 40". These improvisations, celebrating 2000 years, were begun in 1999. Three series with various versions have been drawn. Each version presents a different series of two thousand improvisations, each  individually drawn with pen and ink, line for line, without any repetitions.  The detailed originals can be hypnotizing as the eye wanders from one unit to the next discovering unexpected form inventions from one rectangle to the next 

Display Case

Frontispiece #75
, algorithmic  brush, pen & ink drawing

Frontispiece #74, algorithmic brush, pen & ink drawing

Endpiece #66, algorithmic pen & ink drawing 

Endpiece #71, algorithmic pen & ink drawing 

Text page with illustration.

Black & white reproduction
edition  frontispiece. 



Derivation of the Laws. . .,  by George Boole with algorithmic illustrations by Roman Verostko, a limited edition, Minneapolis, 1990.

Display. Display shows 5 original books  from the limited edition and 1 copy of the reproduction edition of The Derivation of the Laws by George Boole. Four of the books are opened to show the pen and ink drawings that were made individually and tipped in as front and end pieces for each book.  The 5th book shows a text page with an illustration achieved with line cut plates made from algorithmic drawings.

Text. The text is Chapter III from Boole's Classic work, An Investigation of the Laws of Thought... (Macmillan, London, 1859). This edition includes a Preface by Roger Malina, a statement by Roman and a Postscript.

Frontispieces & Endpieces. For this edition 125 original front and end-pieces were created in the artist's studio. Each frontispiece was drawn and brushed, stroke for stroke, with Verostko's coded procedure guiding the drawing arm of a pen plotter.   This edition exemplifies a radical new procedure whereby the same "parent" code, created by the artist, generates a series of original drawings. Each drawing, in this family of forms, bears a familial resemblance to the others.  This edition (1990) may be the first instance where an algorithmic improvisational series of original drawings was created for a bound limited edition.  

Other illustrations: For the illustrations accompanying the text the artist created algorithmic drawings in four colors. Using the master code he cloned each color in a separate drawing using black ink. From these drawings four line cut zinc plates were made for each color illustration. 

Rationale. This edition was created as a tribute to the 19th Century mathematician George Boole (1815-1864). Boole’s treatise on the Laws demonstrates the direct link between Aristotle’s principle of contradiction and the symbolic logic known today as Boolean Algebra. Boolean logic, a symbolic language seminal to the development of modern circuit boards, is fundamental to programming languages. The illustrations for this edition, generated with principles outlined in Boole’s Laws, exemplify the profound kinship emerging today between art and coded procedure.  

Edition. The limited edition of 125 copies, bound in leather, was pulled by hand at the St. Sebastian Press in Minneapolis in 1990. The type, Gill Sans, cast by M&H Type of San Francisco, is printed on Frankfurt text, with Kohl & Madden inks, by Michael Tomaszewski. The work was also issued in a reproduction paperback version based on the original type setting and plotter drawings (February 1991, ISBN 1-879508-07-9). The press is no longer active. The artist retains a limited number of copies of each edition

More on this edition


<< Archive MenuHistory | Main MenuSearch  |  Contact