Image Generation from Magic Squares

Fang You, Ming Yao and Jianmin Wang
Proceedings of Bridges 2011: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2011)
Pages 493–496


The paper is departing from a position in aesthetic theory, in which order of some sort is considered a contributing factor to aesthetic value. It is likewise departing from a position, that generative art, drawing on rule based systems and algorithms, is a legitimate art practice. Instead of generating order by falling back on an artistic master mind or the sensibility and skill of an artist, we explore a highly structured mathematical entity, the magic square, as an engine to generate fine-art by designing representation schemes, which will transform the inherent mathematical order of magic squares into images. A number of such schemes are demonstrated, and an experiment is described to verify the conjecture, that images constructed as mappings of magic squares are valued as more pleasing than similar images constructed randomly.