'Markov Walks' is conceived as a trajectory between two moments. Departing from the graphical works of Theo Van Doesburg (founder of De Stijl, 1917-1924), the piece traces a path to the stochastic works of pioneering 1960s computer artist Manfred Mohr, before extending the underlying theme of aesthetic unity to the present day. 'Markov Walks' is a co-authored work produced by the artist and an 'alterbot' of his own creation.
A series of hand-drawn sketches based on De Stijl are used to teach an alterbot to draw in the same style. The alterbot is a computer program that combines mimetic and stochastic tendencies, encoding the aesthetic principles of De Stijl. The term 'Markov' refers to the bot's model of the world, which is based on a markov chain: a probabilistic, memoryless scheme trained on a set of input sketches. These chains are used to perform graphical 'walks' on a canvas. The direction, length and number of strokes are based on those of the artist's hand, raising the possibility of collaboration between artist and algorithm.
'Markov Walks' is an on-going work comprising C-Prints, hand-drawn sketches and a limited edition artist book including an essay.