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DIAMOND LAKE APOCALYPSE by Roman Verostko. Selected examples from 1992.


Diamond Lake Apocalypse Series, 24” x 18”.   algorithmic pen and brush;  hardware: HI DMP52 multipen-pen plotter.

By the end of the 1980’s I had come to envision my studio as an electronic  scriptorium.   This DLA Series was initiated in 1991 in a format reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscripts.   Each of these examples includes a pair of symmetrical brush strokes. The control points for the strokes in each work also control every pen stroke found in that work. This procedure introduces a “self-similarity” that permeates each work somewhat like a “genetic” marker.


Diamond Lake Apocalypse, # 111.n, 1992

Diamond Lake Apocalypse, # 222.n, 1992

Diamond Lake Apocalypse, # 888.n, 1992




The term  “apocalypse” has its roots in a Greek term that literally means “lifting of the veil” (ἀποκάλυψις apokálypsis), a kind of “revelation”.  In the Christian West it generally refers to the Last Gospel of John, the “Apocalypse” foretelling  the coming of “the end of time”. More broadly an “apocalypse” may be viewed essentially as a revelation of the future.

How did these drawings come to be an “apocalypse” for me?   When my pen plotter first successfully executed one of my generative drawings I experienced exhilarating wonderment. It was like a revelation or “lifting of the veil”.  Clearly “form-generating” procedures could not only generate form ideas on a computer monitor; they could also drive a drawing machine and do so with tireless precision.  Following years working on my “Magic Hand of Chance”, these drawings were hardly a blip on the tip of an immense wave bringing vast cultural change.  Almost any problem or task whatsoever could be coded and executed with specialized machines. With this “revelation” I knew we were on the threshold of a new age.  This wave would take us far beyond accounting and word processing. This was a revolution that Peter Weibel named in retrospect as the “Algorithmic Revolution” (Note 1).  For me, these works, drawn in my electronic scriptorium a few years later, stood for this “apocalypse”, a “lifting of the veil” in my studio overlooking “Diamond Lake”.

Note 1. The following Peter Weibel quote is from the "Algorithmic Revolution Catalogue", 2004:


"A revolution normally lies ahead of us and is heralded with sound and fury. The algorithmic revolution lies behind us and nobody noticed it. That has made it all the more effective – there is no longer any area of social life that has not been touched by algorithms. Over the past 50 years, algorithmic decision-making processes have come very much to the fore as a result of the universal use of computers in all fields of cultural literacy – from architecture to music, from literature to the fine arts and from transport to management. The algorithmic revolution continues the sequencing technology that began with the development of the alphabet and has reached its temporary conclusion with the human genome project. No matter how imperceptible they may be, the changes this revolution has wrought are immense.”


Quoted from The Algorithmic Revolution, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe, 2004, Exhibition Catalogue, p.1.