The House of Dust By Alison Knowles: the poetry of algorithms at the CNEAI
Contemporary Art | The House of Dust is the CNEAI’s inaugural exhibition at its new location in Pantin. It reactivates the reflections developed by Alison Knowles during the late 1960’s, which focused on the prospect of an architecture embracing both poetry and algorithms.
The House of Dust, a pioneering systemic reflection
Challenging her time’s rational thinking and functionalist references, the artist played with poetry through random combinations of words. She created computerized poems that were transcribed by a telex and generated by a software that randomly juxtaposed terms referring to the concept of habitat. Each quatrain illustrated the characteristics of an imaginary house, several variables shaped unlimited possibilities of combinations : geographic location, materials, light and fictitious residents. Through this method Knowles obtained more than 80.000 combinations.
In 1969, the artist translated one of the quatrains into a physical form : a house built in New York where several […]
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