For (int i = 0; i <10,000; i = i +1) ... how many repetitions?

This week we continue with research and development of your final project. We have seen that using loops is a fundamental part of the materiality of computational media, and we ask you to consider this one very important question: If you are using a repeated process (or a ‘loop’) then how many repetitions will you need to achieve an aesthetic effect?

Part 1: Thinking about count of repetition

Consider the following works and estimate the repetitions used. Could these works have been done with less repetitions? Would these works be better with more repetitions?

Vera Molnar, 25 Carrès (25 Squares), 1989

Vera Molnar, 25 Carrès (25 Squares), 1989






Richard Long, Line Mae by Walking, 1967


Ai Wei Wei, Bang, 2010-2013, 886 antique stools, installation view, 2013

Is there a difference between repetition and simply large numbers of objects?


Ai Wei Wei, Sunflower Seeds, Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, October 2010. 100.000.000 seeds, with a total weight of 150 tons.

“Like Ai Weiwei’s other works, ‘Sunflower Seeds’ is a work closely related to the society, politics and economy in China, and also a project that can be accomplished only in this country. It alludes to the globalisation and mass production in China that caters to western consumerism, and to the deemed insignificant element at the bottom of the production chain – thousands of cheap labors, assembly lines in gigantic factories, and tedious procedures. Absurdly, ‘Sunflower Seeds’ provided work for 1,600 artisans in Jingdenzhen, a fact that is an ironic reflection of the social reality. “(, accessed 10/2015)

Triple Elvis 1962 Acrylic silkscreened on canvas

Triple Elvis 1962 Acrylic silkscreened on canvas

Some ideas about exploring social media: (note that these don’t explicitly involve repetition)

Part 2: Presenting to Peers

Document your work and present it to a peer. Your peer’s role is to critically engage your work, that is: criticise it with a view of improving it.

Your presentation should follow the assessment guidelines:

  1. How is your work informed by artists / artists works / theorists. Peer should question if the references are sufficiently reputable and adequate.
  2. What is the basic rule or process that the work engages in. In other words, are you sure that it is a computational media work? What is being abstracted into instructions?
  3. What new insight or aesthetic is exposed with your rule or process? Peer should identify whether the work actually does this for someone who hasn’t heard the verbal argument.
  4. How will you execute and present your work. Peer should identify how they think the execution and presentation might go wrong.

Part 3: Documenting work development

Create another blog post on your personal Blog, documenting any development of your concept.

You might include:

  • Found images
  • mock ups (perhaps done in photoshop)
  • word maps highlighting key words and concepts
  • idea maps
  • drawings (scanned or photographed and uploaded)


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