Dr. Malotki’s latest focus is on designs called phosphenes, which are
as fundamental to art as time is to language. He said the same 15
abstract geometric constants appear globally in art created as early as
300,000 years ago. They are grids, zigzags and patterns of dots. They
are the first objects drawn by children; we doodle them when we talk on
These are the same kind of rock drawings that inspired Harold Cohen in the 1970s with AARON. And if you look at AARON’s drawings from the late 1970s you’ll see precisely these phosphenic forms (among others) being created by the program. Cohen called AARON’s repertoire of the time “cognitive primitives”. Malotki’s work seems to bear this out.