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Although decorative patterns have been employed by Greeks and Romans, Islamic artists achieved an unprecedented degree of mastery due to discoveries in Mathematics and aniconic precepts. (geometric, calligraphic, floreal).
And of course patterns emerge in textiles throughout cultures.
Example Rich symbology embedded in the traditional Kente cloth.
The modularity of textiles made them an early subject of automation. The Jaquard Loom (1804) is one of the first programmable machines and the inspiration for early computing architectures and punch cards.
But flash-forward to machine-influenced or machine-derived ideas of repetition.
In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it.
– Andy Warhol
In Op-Art (60s)
Abstract subgenre, short lived but influential all across interior design, fashion and advertising. Op-artists were exploring the limits of perception, creating visually tense images and optical illusions.
Repetition + variation in textile design:
In minimalist music:
Steve Reich – Clapping music 1972
In early computer art:
In «Cubic Limit,» Mohr introduces the cube into his work as a fixed system with which signs are generated. In the first part of this work phase (1972–75), an alphabet of signs is created from the twelve lines of a cube. In some works, statistics and rotation are used in the algorithm to generate signs. In others, combinatorial, logical and additive operators generate the global and local structures of the images.
10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
From the Commodore 64 manual
In generative art
Dynamic version. Can you reverse engineer it?
Same principle applied to rotational symmetry:
In level design
Modular generative systems are often used in games to generate levels procedurally:
Forget me not
and also beyond the 2D grid
The problem with the hype, and the media understanding of procedural generation:
No Man’s Sky Is Like 18 Quintillion Bowls of Oatmeal