Frederik Vanhoutte (BE)

+0-0 (add nothing, subtract nothing)

Generative pen plotter drawings on paper

The work +0-0 (add nothing, subtract nothing) starts from a simple shape, and does two simple things:

  1. cut the shape in half,
  2. and either rotate half of the shape by 90° or move half of the shape.

A simple start, simple operations, yet what emerges after enough repetitions isn’t simple.

Complexity is created without adding or removing anything.

A sequence of operations like this, with discrete steps, repetitions, and conditional choices is called an algorithm, from the name of the 9th-century mathematician al-Khwārizmī.

Similar to a recipe to be followed, the concept of an algorithm is a fundament in computer science today.

The algorithm does not “see” or “know” the shape. It cannot lift the shape, push it or turn it around like we would with a set of blocks.

Eyeless, handless, to make it work, shapes have to be represented in a language it understands.

Mathematics provides us with that language.

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