A fundamental artifact of any digital imaging device is that it samples an infinite reality and encodes it within a finite data-set. A digital image is stored as a series of color values, one value per pixel for monochromatic images and three for colored ones. Inevitably, the clarity of the image is limited by the size of its data. The experimental software FIG exploits the finite nature of such data-set and attempts to iterate through all the possible color combinations a digital canvas can hold. Since any image can be digitized, we can also assume that any and every representation can be found in one of these possible color combinations. FIG guarantees that with enough time, it will eventually generate every possible image.
Disclaimer – At the present time this only works in a theoretical level, due to the vast amount of possible color combinations a typical digital image can hold. As the image gets bigger, the possibilities increase at an exponential rate (Color combinations = colorDepth ^ pixels). For reference, even when iterating 60 times per second, it would require a little less than 10 billion years (or almost the age of the known universe) to go through all the posible images of an 8×8 pixels image with just 2 colors. For example this smiley icon is iteration number 18429783006733130751 and it would take ~9.74 billion years to be seen.
As the processing power of computers keeps increasing, we may eventually be able to brute force the generation of all images and filter the meaningful ones out of the chaos. In a potential future version of this software, the output images can be passed into an image recognition algorithm which would identify, aggregate and categorize human recognizable results and allow us to see everything that can be seen.
Could this ever challenge human creativity?
Who would own the intellectual property of all the pictures?
For more information and to use the Finite Image Generator, please visit fig.ch3.gr