Computer Drawings of Peter Beyls

Peter beyls
In a time where computing technology rises often from a field of complex network systems, the computing art that Belgian artist Peter Beyls has been developing for 40 years unfolds a rather comfortable simplicity of access even if processes hidden behind are somehow intriguing as well.

If Peter Beyls has always been a multifaceted creator, interested in processes of behaviour connected to science and biology fields (like in his piece Petri) or to more interactive installation screening real-time processed music and visual animations, the Simple Thoughts exhibition that has been taking place at iMal Brussels focuses more on the technical of automatic drawings - looking like grid systems and made by mechanical programmed machines - he has been creating through years to express his idea of artificial intelligence. 

If the first ones of these drawings, from the 1970’s, were based on a kind of abstract randomness, Peter Beyls will then progressively drive his machines towards more self-organized systems from early 1980’s, inducing a growing complexity inside the simple beginnings of this long-time project.

Step by step, his approach has been becoming more speculative, as the interaction of simple components has been keeping generated by machines always more clever – like the robot arms delivering the most recent drawings to be shown at the exhibition. Presented in the same space, each piece introduces then a timeless dialogue, embodied by the contrast between the oldest printed drawings and the virtual window on internet data brought by the four audiovisual installations.

Laurent Catala


Retrospective exhibition: 40 years of computer art
Simple Thoughts - Peter Beyls
From 14 November to 14 December

iMAL, Center for Digital Cultures and Technology
30-34 Quai des Charbonnages / Koolmijnenkaai, box 9
B-1080 Brussels


More about Peter Beyls:

The artist is Interviewed about Petri

Peter Beyls - Prints (1974)