Untitled Computer Drawing
This abstract digital drawing was generated automatically by an experimental computer programme that the artist Harold Cohen developed in the early 1970s. Cohen was fascinated by relationships between art and artificial intelligence, and the decision-making power of computer programmes. He designed the programme AARON in 1973 to ‘do what human artists do when they make images’, describing it as an ‘expert system’. 
Untitled Computer Drawing was created by one of four ‘drawing machines’ running the AARON programme that Cohen installed at the Tate Gallery in 1983. Cohen describes the process in the exhibition catalogue:
‘AARON makes a very large number of unique drawings: in fact, with all four drawing machines running, the installation is capable of making about twelve drawings every hour throughout the exhibition. One program, thousands of original drawings. You will need to judge for yourself what significance to attach to this volume. No doubt we would agree that unless each individual drawing is worthy of attention – and not simply because it was made by a computer program – a thousand of them won’t be either. If they are worthy of attention, though, the fact that they were generated by a computer program becomes significant.’ 
Lisa Newby, June 2022
 Harold Cohen, exh. cat. (London: Tate Gallery, 1983), p.7.
 Ibid., p.8.
In October 1984, the University of East Anglia accepted a planned bequest from Joyce and Michael Morris (UEA Alumni). Michael died in 2009 and Joyce in December 2014 when the couple's wishes were implemented.
Not on display
Title/Description: Untitled Computer Drawing
Artist/Maker: Harold Cohen
Object Type: Print
Accession Number: 31583
Historic Period: 20th century
Credit Line: Bequeathed by Joyce and Michael Morris, 2014