O.k. this has happened before...when a post writes itself. I selected the topic of Generative Art for todays post months ago because I've heard of it but didn't know much about it. Well, the universe has aligned again because while on vacation I saw an exhibition about the pioneer of Generative Art, Harold Cohen.
Harold Cohen created Aaron in the 1960's to create artworks. Harold would program rules into Aaron who would then apply those rules into a piece of work. The rules were abstract enough that Harold never truly knew what the results would be. He wanted the computer to be autonomous.
A lot of people questioned it, asking if Cohen was the true artist since he didn't make every decision for the piece of art. I would say he is since without his development of the code the computer wouldn't know where to start.
Below is the computer Aaron which I saw at the Computer History Museum.
Cohen eventually started working more as a collaborator with Aaron. Having Aaron create the background for the piece that Cohen would then paint over. Cohen passed away in 2016 and as the gif above points out Aaron could continue producing artwork. However, Cohen clarifies without him entering and further developing code Aaron's pieces would all look very similar. Aaron would stop developing as an artist. Below are some pieces created by Cohen and Aaron found on their website.