The Institute of Artificial Art Amsterdam

Like most organizations, the Institute of Artificial Art Amsterdam (IAAA) was effectively run by its secretary. Remko Scha, who acted as such for IAAA from its inception in the late 80's until his death in 2015, has been its driving force over all those years. He brought in the mix of talent that lent the institute its idiosyncratic and diverse character and he developed or suggested many of its projects. He is also suspected by some of being the author behind the speeches its reclusive director Huge Harry became famous for. Which would be ironic, as in these speeches Huge Harry tended to stress the superiority of machines over humans as artists.

The institute advocated and pioneered an algorithmic, generative approach to art and design. Even though some of its machines and programs were overtaken by technological advances, and even though the superiority of machines as artists no longer seems controversial, with algorithms already being accepted as better drivers and better news editors, IAAA remained notable for its perspective on the arts. Well-versed on the subject of anti-art and meta-art, as evidenced by his encyclopedic, Remko was the instigator behind a focus on algorithmic art as a vehicle for the formal study of esthetics and style recognition.

Remko has started to scratch the surface of this ambitious project with former and current IAAA members. Most of them will continue scratching, on artificial expressions (Arthur Elsenaar), on artificial drawing and design (Jochem van der Spek, Jos de Bruin), on artificial music (Samuel Vriezen, Alcedo Coenen) and on artificial cinema (Luuk Bouwman, Jos de Bruin).

The IAAA website that Remko meticulously maintained over all these years remains online. He left a rich body of work, which is well documented on that site. Upcoming events involving these works, such as new performances of The Machines, can be found here. Inquiries about the site or Remko's work can be addressed here.