Ideas vs. Personality

We do not believe anybody is interested in the artist’s emotions, personality, mood, history, etc. Our way of embodying this belief is to rely on a radically algorithmic art. “Radically” here means that the artist’s personality intervenes only in setting program parameters and providing a conceptual justification for them. All the rest is a harmonic (or adversarial) interaction between randomness and necessity, as designed at the algorithmic level.

An Aesthetic of Constraints.

We do believe that art stems from constraints. These might be externally or internally imposed. An external constraint is the availability of certain pigments in a given part of the world. An internal constraint is for instance an “Ouliporime”. As Queneau wrote:

« Une autre bien fausse idée qui a également cours actuellement, c’est l’équivalence que l’on établit entre inspiration, exploration du subconscient et libération, entre hasard, automatisme et liberté. Or cette inspiration qui consiste à obéir aveuglément à toute impulsion est en réalité un esclavage. Le classique qui écrit sa tragédie en observant un certain nombre de règles qu’il connaît est plus libre que le poète qui écrit ce qui lui passe par la tête et qui est l’esclave d’autres règles qu’il ignore. » — Raymond Queneau, Le Voyage en Grèce, p. 39.

(translation:"Another very misconception that is also current today, is the equivalence that we establish between inspiration, exploration of the subconscious and liberation, between chance, automatism and freedom. But this inspiration, which consists in blindly obeying every impulse, is in reality slavery. The classic author, who writes his tragedy by observing a certain number of rules that he knows, is freer than the poet who writes what goes through his mind and who is the slave of other rules that he ignores.")

We put several constraints on Colorless Green Ideas projects, the biggest one probably being limited (computer) memory footprints. We believe that, ideally, an algorithmic artwork should be able to be generated in something as little as a web browser memory. And this, by the way, is one of the reasons for our non-adoption of GPT-3/Sudowrite and in general deep learning based technologies, albeit we are admirative towards certain work resulting from them.

And, of course, another argument in favour of computational frugality ecologic impact (yes, our ideas are green!).

Emphasis on Perception

Besides the conceptual framework in which the artist wraps the artwork, the interpretation process (be it emotional or conceptual or both) becomes a burden of the perceiver. Here we are playing games similar to the surrealist “cadavre exquis” (Exquisite corpse ), and with Breton we “assimilate the perception of meaning to the extra-rational creation of meaning, i. e., to the phenomenon of Inspiration” (J.M. Coetzee, “Surreal Metaphors and Random Processes”). In other words, in all our artworks, inspiration comes from their consumers, not from treir producers.


Colorless Green Ideas works are also an exploration on how semantics permeate different media. We assume that there is a semantics of language, one of images and one of sounds. How do they relate each other? This is really an exploratory work which ranges from basic correlations (e.g. Street signals) to emotional correlation (e.g. tonality in texts,music, colors) to more complex interaction based, for instance, on vectorization of “syntactic” units. Be it as it may, it is always an exploratory work, and in most cases a cognitively unsupported one.