Organic Illusion

Dr. Bill Kolomyjec252/256

Organic Illusion is one of the very first computer graphic drawings I produced that I considered worthy of being called Art. This version is a Plotter Art reconstruction of one of my classics.

Between 1973 - 1975 I was working on an MFA in Graphic Design at Michigan State University. I was using the most rudimentary hardware and software. All graphics were produced by writing code in FORTRAN, punching each line of code into a Hollerith card, assembling cards into a deck and submitting the deck for processing on a main frame at a central computing facility. You returned the next day to pick up your plot which was processed over night on an off-line plotter. I exhibited this piece in my MFA show in 1975.

Back then the only "graphic primitive" we had available to create a drawing was the command to move a pen and draw a line: CALL PLOT(X, Y, penUp) and CALL PLOT(X, Y, penDown). Organic Illusion is an early example of an algorithmic image (non representational/non digitized) employing controlled randomness. It is a regular grid of square tiles that connect. Each tile consists of a square with its perimeter divided into the same number of points as the circle it contains. Randomness determines the placement of the circles’ center relative to the center of the square. The way the coordinate points between the two shapes are connected appear to create a volume, i.e. 3D illusion.

The code for the original image is long gone but I was able to reconstruct it from memory. Like a child you never forget. I submit to you again in new media for you all to enjoy.

Check out Dr. Bill Generative Art OG website @

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