Petros Vrellis would love for his algorithmic art to help people realize that the evolution of technology provides opportunities for new ways of artistic expression.
Petros Vrellis is a Greek artist holding both an MEng in Electrical Engineering and an MA in Art Sciences. This combination of engineering and artistic creativity gave birth to his algorithmic art. His work has been exhibited and collected all over the world from Greece to the U.S. to Italy.
As a “toy-inventor,” the main tools Petros uses are computers, programming languages (c++ and especially the “open frameworks” open source toolkit), and electronics (cameras, microcontrollers, etc.) The process goes like this: the pattern is generated from a specially designed algorithm which has as input the digital photograph and as output the knitting pattern. Over 2 billion calculations are needed to produce each pattern which is an impossible task for the human brain.
Algorithmic Art: Weaving Computational Design
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An engineer’s ever-growing hunger for creative expression
Petros has been exposed to art all his life. His father was a writer and poet while two of his uncles were sculptors. “As a kid, I liked drawing and painting,” he recounts. “But my real interest was experimenting. I believe that all of us have the need to express ourselves creatively. Unfortunately in this world somehow we have to compromise and suppress this need in order to make a living.”
Petros is a living example of this forced compromise for the sake of practicality. He first studied electrical engineering, started working (and still working) as an engineer. However, the need for that special creative something was ever-growing. In his late twenties, Petros was lucky to become an apprentice to his uncle’s sculpting studio. As a result, he got an outlet for creative expression and eventually decided to study visual arts.
The mystery of demystifying algorithmic art
Inspiration comes in mysterious ways.
– Petros Vrellis
Petros has spent the last 6 years on his computational string* art project. But right now, he’s thinking about moving on and has yet to find a suitable direction. “Like all humans, I have absolutely no control over inspiration,” he says. “So, I can only continue working and experimenting, holding on to the hope that a new good idea will come…”
* In case you didn’t know, a string is a fundamental variable in most programming languages that stands for a sequence of characters. (Words or sentences.)
Petros has long been fascinated by the ability of writers and artists to demystify life while creating new myths at the same time. For example, his string art project was inspired by Kumi Yamashita’s artwork. And his favorite writers include Charles Bukowski, Hermann Hesse, Samuel Beckett, Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, David Eagleman, and many more. As for visual artists, the list is “almost endless…”
To see Petros’s latest artworks, visit Saatchi Art >
If you love Petros’s work, you may also like these artists: