Abstract

Computer art and Islamic art, the two largest bodies of aniconic art, share a surprising number of formal properties, two of which are explored here. The common properties of computer art and classical Islamic art can be understood in light of moments in the history of Islamic philosophy. In these two cases, Islamic Neoplatonism and Mu'tazili atomism are shown to parallel, respectively, the logic of relations between one and infinity, and the basic pixel structure, that inform some historical monuments of Islamic art as well as some contemporary works of computer art. It is suggested that these parallels are in part a result of Islamic influences on Western modernism and thus that the genealogy of computer art includes classical Islamic art and the philosophies that informed it.

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