This paper proposes the term “autonomous procedures” as a general description of those methods that can be applied autonomously to making an artwork and “systems” as a more specific term for those autonomous methods that fall within the systems theory definition of systems. The text looks critically at the two major proposals for describing and classifying autonomous procedures: Philip Galanter's generative art and the notion of “open systems”; it then proposes a new description: recurrence. Finally it offers a short survey of artworks made using nonrecurrent procedures.

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