Creatomatic

The Creatomatic is a piece of software designed to accelerate the imagination and prompt new inventions. It works by randomly juxtaposing diagrams of two everyday objects from a selection of hundreds. Through free association, the two objects can lead to the invention of an entirely new object, which can be practical or nonsensical. Inspired by the accidental nature of creativity, the Creatomatic uses the technique of surprise to overcome habitual ways of thinking and short circuit rational control. The Creatomatic Exhibition showcases a collection of artworks generated using the Creatomatic software by invited artists and participants from the Creatomatic Workshop.

In the Creatomatic Workshop participants learn how to freshen up their neurons and get their creative juices flowing by practicing the Creatomatic Method. I co-taught the first workshop with guest artist Jacob Tonski. We guided participants step by step from the initial spark of inspiration through the iterative stages of prototyping in order to realize their inventions, successfully condensing the period of creation that would under most circumstances span a few months into just 10 hours.

Software: Leonard Tirulnikov
Photo: Raymond Yeung, Michelle Calabro, Phillip Retuta
Support: Eyebeam Art and Technology Center and Black Rock Arts Foundation
Exhibition History:
2011-Creatomatic, Eyebeam-Project Space (New York, US)
Workshop History:
2011-Creatomatic Workshop, Eyebeam (New York, US),
2013-Creatomatic Workshop, WARP Contemporary Art Platform (Sint-Niklaas, Belgium)

  • Tea Bag Catapult by Jacob Tonski with Austin Wieland.
    “Out of sight out of mind! The slovenly launch them into the corner. The fastidious aim at the trash can. The crunchy launch at the compost. Put a little loft into your morning waste disposal routine.”
  • Balloon Plunger by Jacob Tonski
    “Decorating for a birthday party is now a party all its own! Make funny noises! Get some exercise! Feeling a little conspicuous? Who cares! Take the plunge!”
  • Candelier by Takeshi Miyakawa
    “100% chandelier and 100% candle, light the Candelier and watch it disappear.”
  • Cactus Straw by Jacob Tonski
    “Invented for the seasoned dessert traveler, the Cactus Straw can be carried in lieu of a water canteen. Tap into the water fountain of the desert!”
  • Tape Dispenser Particle by Greg Witt
    “If everything is made of particles, then what is a tape dispenser particle like?”
  • The Creatomatic Software
  • The Creatomatic Exhibition
  • Developed during the Creatomatic Workshop, the Scissors Compass by Amritha Michelle allows you to cut along accurate directional routes.
  • The Creatomatic Workshop