Human or Machine: A Subjective Comparison of Piet Mondrian’s “Composition With Lines’’ (1917) and a Computer Generated Picture

This is a mindmap based on a text published in “The Psychological record” in 1966 by A. Michael Noll, an American computer engineer. Entitled “Human or Machine: A Subjective Comparison of Piet Mondrian’s “Composition With Lines’’ (1917) and a Computer Generated Picture” It describes how he took a famous 1917 painting by Mondrian as a starting point and developed a computer simulation to replicate it. This was then shown to a group of test subjects and their reactions to both the simulation and a reproduction of the original were recorded, with surprising results.

It offers some interesting speculation into the possible working methods of Mondrian at that time, and raises questions about the nature of the artist’s ability to communicate with and provoke an emotional response in the viewer by using purely abstract forms. It also gives a good insight into the state of computer programming and imaging hardware in the 1960s.

Noll's Mondrian Mindmap

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