The Irish painter Francis Bacon worked in notorious squalor. His London studio, now preserved at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, is splattered with paint and glue; the floor hardly visible, covered in magazine clippings, pieces of paper, paint cans and bundles of paint brushes. Unfinished paintings, blank canvases and picture frames lean against the unadorned walls. Although some might qualify this disarray as worthy of a Hoarders episode, the artist believed it was a necessary part of the “deeply ordered chaos” in his work.   

Many artists would agree that there is a way in which their art is made. And if there is order, or even a semblance of it, can it be codified? Better yet, can it be distilled into, say, a few hundred lines of code? 

Dartmouth College has announced three competitions to find out. Ken Picard describes them in this week’s Seven DaysRead the full story and find out more about the competition here.