There Was Silver in MIT In 1996!

The Cat photomosaic - Andrea
The Cat - (Photomosaic) Artist Andrea

One of the many questions posed by academicians is can digitally created images be classed as ‘true’ art.

If so, can we identify a specific movement or concept in art that can be attributed to the digital age.

Is art created by ‘artists’ or is art the result of creative individuals or groups? It is questions such as this that make art so fascinating.

One of the most ingenious inventions in digital imaging was created in 1995 by a student at MIT, Robert Silver. His invention, the photomosaic is a composite image made up hundreds and even thousands of smaller images.

The computer creates the image by matching, colour and luminance to the target image. The technique was used by Pointillists such as Georges Seurat, nearly 100 years before.

What you are seeing is a marvellous combination between light, colour and perception.

The photomosaic of the cat was created by artist and software developer Andrea. If you want to see more of Andrea’s art or indeed download the free photomosaic software, go to

Robert Silver has become a highly respected artist in his own right and by definition, digital images have been accepted as an art form in their own right.

I think this can only be good for art and for digital artists.

My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the digital circus.


One thought on “There Was Silver in MIT In 1996!

  1. In reference to your first three paragraphs, Andy Warhol is often attributed with the phrase: “Art is anything you can get away with”, which actually originated from Canadian educator, philosopher, scholar and professor of English literature, Marshall McLuhan. I don’t profess to having even the slightest of knowledge of the subject, but it certainly is food for thought.
    Generally speaking, photographers have long since won the argument that photography is an art form, but there is very much debate as to how much a photograph can be digitally altered and still be regarded as ‘original’ photographs, and by extension original art, particularly if there is heavy use of automatic tools as provided in modern photo editing packages. Again, food for thought…

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