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Generative Art/Generative Systems: visual arts, literature & (computer-)automated art SM2220/SM6305 Writing Machine/Digital Media: Theory & Practice Linda Lai January 25, 2005 What is Generative Art ? Generative Art performs the idea as process. Generative Art ?

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generative art generative systems visual arts literature computer automated art

Generative Art/Generative Systems:visual arts, literature & (computer-)automated art

SM2220/SM6305

Writing Machine/Digital Media: Theory & Practice

Linda Lai

January 25, 2005

what is generative art
What is Generative Art?

Generative Art performs the idea as process.

generative art
Generative Art?

Generative = capable of producing

(To) generate = to produce, to bring into existence, to bring forward, to present to view or notice…

generative systems
Generative Systems?

…a system capable of functioning with generative forces…

…a system that imposes a structure on something that is very lively, viable and fluid…

generators
Generators

…a unit (part) of the system that is capable of generating (producing) more units…

generators6
Generators

What does it mean to say that something is (serves the functions of) a generator?

e.g.: when is an apple just an apple?

when is an apple a generator?

generators7
Generators

Anything can become a generator when…

*it is turned into a principle for more productive activities…

*it is studied for its ability to push forward the production of the next possible members…

generators8
Generators

Generators can be…

A key word

An object

A name

A graphic element (point, line, shape etc.)

A fragment of a story

A narrative

A dramatic structure

…….

generators9
Generators

Generators can be…

Visual…

Aural…

Verbal…

Structural…

three features of generative art
THREE features of Generative Art

[1st feature:]

Design of structuring device:

rules +procedures

[2nd feature:]

Spatial extension + establishment of networks

[3rd feature:]

Genetic code of artificial units

1st feature rules procedures
1st feature: rules + procedures

Rules…

  • something to be acquired/learned

(by the users/receivers/participants)

  • Something enabling

(allowing more complex tasks to be carried out)

1st feature rules procedures12
1st feature: rules + procedures

Rules…

  • Based on sources that are outside of the work itself
1st feature rules procedures13
1st feature: rules + procedures

Rules map out procedures…

e.g. Serial methods

2nd feature extension networks
2nd feature: extension + networks

Exchange of languages (esp. between visual art and literature)

Visual and linguistic elements are turned into generators of a conscious and reflexive creative process

Practice of collaboration

3rd feature artificial objects
3rd feature: artificial objects

Celestino Soddu:

A generative project is “a concept-software that works producing three-dimensional unique and non-repeatable events as possible and manifold expressions of the generating idea identified by the designer as a visionary world.”

[see introduction to the Generative Art Conferences]

3rd feature artificial objects16
3rd feature: artificial objects

KEY emphases in Soddu’s quote:

  • What is possible (as opposed to what is actual):

-possible worlds, possible space, possible vision...

-work is the designer’s visionary world

-calls attention to the amazing, endless expansion of human creativity

3rd feature artificial objects17
3rd feature: artificial objects

KEY emphases in Soddu’s quote:

(2) Design + Non-repeatable/unpredictable events

“design”: carefully planned structure

“non-repeatable/unpredictable events”: enhanced degree of complexity due to the use of the computer. 

3rd feature artificial objects18
3rd feature: artificial objects

KEY emphases in Soddu’s quote:

(3) The basic characteristics of computer

– as tools for storage in memory AND automated executive of tasks –

are turned into the core creative factors.

3rd feature artificial objects19
3rd feature: artificial objects

In all three cases,

There’s a shift of emphasis –

from more humanistic input in the creative process to the act of conception, leading to the design of rules and procedures

3rd feature artificial objects20
3rd feature: artificial objects

Generative art brings back the human creativity that computer had killed in the beginning of the computer era:

Computers become…

“tools that open new fields and enhance our understanding of creativity as an indissoluble synthesis between art and science.”

generative visual arts
Generative Visual Arts

TWO kinds of generative systems in 20th-C art history (Diane Kirkpatrick):

  • Close generative systems:

[e.g. conceptual art]

in each work a closed analytic structure is set up which becomes a generator for exploration

generative visual arts22
Generative Visual Arts

TWO kinds of generative systems in 20th-C art history (Diane Kirkpatrick):

(2) Organic generative systems:

A work begins with creating one word or idea and uses that to generate the next, and the next and so on…(creating generators)

generative visual arts work examples
Generative Visual Arts: work examples

Josef Albers:

(1) “Homage to Square” series (1950s)

Frank Stella:

(1) “Protractor Series” (93 paintings based on 31 canvas formats each with 3 compositional types)

Sol LeWitt:

(1) “Squares with Corners Torn off” (1975) X

(2) “Modular Open Cube”

generative visual arts work examples24
Generative Visual Arts: work examples

Dorothea Rockburne:

(1) “Set” (1970) – inspiration from Mathematics

(2) “Radiant and Fields” (1971) – concept of units becoming more complex X

(3) “Drawing That Makes Itself” (1973) X

Jennifer Bartlett:

(1) “Rhapsody” (1975-76)

generative visual arts work examples25
Generative Visual Arts: work examples

Doug Huebler:

(1) “Duration Piece No. 6” (NY, 4/1969) – photo series X

(2) “Location Piece No. 6” (1970) X

(3) “Duration Piece No. 7”

(4) “Location Pieces No. 7”

generative visual arts work examples26
Generative Visual Arts: work examples

Sonia Sheridan:

(1) mono-prints series based on one image (1963-64)

(2) “Unwind the Wheel of Time” (1979) – eight drawings X

generative literature
Generative Literature

Generative Literature attends to the conscious and overt process through which a work unfolds…

-an art of “positive construction” that seeks to invent “new systems of coherency”

(Bruce Morrissette)

generative literature28
Generative Literature

Generative Literature attends to the conscious and overt process through which a work unfolds…

-attention to the function of language

generative literature29
Generative Literature

Generative Literature attends to the conscious and overt process through which a work unfolds…

-artificialness of the text underlined:

Text giving rise to itself…

(David Leach)

generative literature30
Generative Literature

TWO types of generators in postmodern literature…

*Linguistic generators:

Lettrist, syllabic, phonetic…

*Situational generators:

Producing fictional structures

generative literature work examples
Generative Literature: work examples

*Works of the OuLiPo group… (next week)

*[French New Novelist] Jean Ricardou’s work

*Robbe-Grillet’s La Belle Captive, turning Magritte’s works and titles into generators

*Robbe-Grillet’s collaboration with visual artist: Traces suspectes en surface (Robert Rauschenberg’s lithograph + Robbe-Grillet’s text)

*Robbe-Grillet + Paul Delvaux:

mutual exchange of 10 chapters and short narratives (writing + etching)

generative literature s critical impulse
Generative Literature’s critical impulse:

“…a continuation of the modern tendency to contest, attack, destroy…such traditional fictional concerns as thematic causality, linear chronology, justified narrative viewpoint, and the like, thus working at the aesthetic level for the revolutionary overthrow of bourgeois values.”

(Bruce Morrissette)

automated computable generative art new media
Automated/Computable Generative Art (new media)
  • Generative Art web resources:

http://www.generative.net/

http://www.generativedesign.com/

http://www.generativeart.com

http://www.thesocietyforpotentialliteratures.com/html/043.html

automated computable generative art new media35
Automated/Computable Generative Art (new media)

Work examples:

  • “Design of Morphogenesis” (Celestino Soddu)

-- an AI original software, created to simulate the logical procedures of some specific (and subjective) approach to the increasing complexity

http://www.generativedesign.com/demetra2.htm

2. An animation showing the sequence of generation of ever different 3D models of Woman from Picasso (Celestino Soddu)

http://www.generativedesign.com/cinema5.htm

automated computable generative art new media36
Automated/Computable Generative Art (new media)

Work examples:

  • Generative industrial design (Celestino Soddu); generated by ARGENIA

http://www.generativedesign.com/rp/RP_chairs.htm

  • More ARGENIC design: chairs

http://www.generativedesign.com/stoc_sed.htm

  • http://www.generativedesign.com/cinema.htm