imagespaceAbout Meta-Phorms. A Power Point presentation at the Art Gallery Presentations/Art Sketches: Creative Manipulation of Space, Time, and Image, Siggraph 2006. This is a 2.4Mb PDF file. The opening time on a fast connection such as DSL, cable, or better, may be in the range of 15--20 second.




Meta-Phorms are the fine art representations of mathematical procedures devised specifically for art purposes. Such a processes can include algorithmic operations, algorithmic transformations of forms already obtained, or algorithmic operations requiring immediate generative/fine art decisions from the artist in order for the process to complete itself. All results end in an artistic interface controlled by fine art criteria.

Deriving from abstract mathematical operations such forms are initially “unseen” and, when rendered, can go beyond what is seen to become a metaphor of a potential or parallel form, hence the name Meta-Phorm = Meta+Metaphor+Form.

The aim of Meta-Phorms is to create a body of unforeseen images. To this end, a game relationship is established among geometric shapes. Any geometric form on a sheet of paper symbolizes an entity endowed with life, able to inspect, collect information and react to the environment. It is able to carry out a behavior and is ready to participate in a graphic game through behavior, combination or interaction. A point symbolizes the position in space of such entity. While it is in process, the shapes interact with each other through various emulations of a cybernetics model (a situation in which structures or systems are interconnected by input, output, and feedback events). In this context, behavioral capabilities are ascribed to the geometric elements (forms and shapes), which are more complex than those of conventional geometry and are therefore identified as Meta-Points and Meta-Phorms.

The algorithm that builds a Meta_Phorm may contain, in various combinations, elements of trigonometry, analytical, space and descriptive geometries, visualization and graphic representations, series of numbers, limits, very big and very small numbers, the occurrence of irrational and imaginary situations, the occurrence and peculiarity of the special numbers, combinatorics, differential and integral calculus, vectors, etc.

Meta-Compositions are works of color, shape, line, value, shade and light that result as image mutations, when the continuum of mathematical data that represents a linear Meta-Phorms undergoes algebraic manipulations. In other words a migration of geometry.

Finally, the Symphonic Compositions are a sizable extension of Meta-Compositions and derive from a specific way of inspecting their visual content. This inspection is a subjective handling of a Meta-Composition’s highly objective content (geometry, numbers) and is a one-time, non-replicable experiment that closely reflects the artist’s psychology, visual abilities, and cultural curiosity.

Computer technologies are ideal tools for this work, especially since the mid-1990s by which time they had attained a degree of perfection that allowed for both powerful software and museum-quality output on canvas and paper. While such technologies were still in the making, the work was executed by hand: examples of this from the period between 1971 and 1994 can be found in the chronology section.

For samples of Meta-Phorms and how they work, see the following links:


Building Meta-Phorms. Animated Descriptions.


• Symphonic Meta-Compositions. Descriptions and X-ray of the working process.