From Abstract Art to Abstracted Artists
What lineage connects early abstract films and machine-generated YouTube videos? Hans Richter’s famous piece Rhythmus 21 is considered to be the first abstract film in the experimental tradition. The Webdriver Torso YouTube channel is composed of hundreds of thousands of machine-generated test patterns designed to check frequency signals on YouTube. This article discusses geometric abstraction vis-à-vis new vision, conceptual art and algorithmic art. It argues that the Webdriver Torso is an artistic marvel indicative of a form we call mathematical abstraction, which is art performed by computers and, quite possibly, for computers.