Human or Machine: A Subjective Comparison of Piet Mondrian’s ‘Composition with Lines’ and a Computer–Generated Picture

Author(s): A. Michael Noll

When confronting a test group of 100 subjects with reproductions of two pictures – one painting by Piet Mondrian and a computer generated, semi-random composition similar in appearance, Noll found out the following:

On average, subjects preferred the computer generated version, while at the same time failing to identify it as computer generated. This result was especially apparent with young subjects, female subjects, and those who said they liked abstract art.

Subjects with technical jobs performed better at identifying the difference between the original and the computer generated image.

The article was re-published in Exakte Ästhetik 6 in 1969 on pp. 91-101.

Year: 1966
Month: January
Journal: The Psychological Record
Volume: 16
On pages: 1-10
Pages: 10
People referred to: Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondrian