Manchester Illuminated Universal Turing Machine, #24

Roman Verostko

Manchester Illuminated Universal Turing Machine, #24 , ongoing
Co-workers & Funding
  • verotsko
    682 × 450
by Roman Verostko, 1998

The Project: A family of algorithmic pen plotted drawings, each presented with the binary text for a Universal Turing Machine (UTM), was created for an exhibition in Manchester on the occasion of the Ninth International Symposium on Electronic Art (1998). They were created as homage to Alan Turing celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first computer with a stored program, the Manchester "Baby" compute. Known also as the "Mark I prototype", it would have been the first "hard wired" UTM.

These drawings, reminiscent of medieval manuscript illuminations, celebrate Alan Turing's concept of a UTM by presenting it as a valuable precious text of our own time. Executed on hot pressed Arches, each work includes a burnished gold leaf enhancement.
  • subjects
    • Arts and Visual Culture
      • drawings
Technology & Material
Manchester Illuminated Universal Turing Machine, #24
1998, 30" by 22"
pen plotted drawing with gold leaf
The UTM version for these art works is quoted from Roger Penrose’ The Emperor’s New Mind (Chapter 2) and consists of 5,495 binary digits. These digits represent an algorithm, in expanded binary, for a UTM. In the tradition of illuminated sacred texts this algorithm is presented as a highly treasured text because it played a seminal role in the birth of 20th Century computers. The form enhancements celebrating the algorithm are generated with the artist’s code

that requires the logic of a UTM for its execution, thus being a form of “Turing on Turing”.
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