Generative Art in VC

Posted: January 21st, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Within the VC database there are only 7 projects that are genuine generative art pieces. To those who are not familiar with the term, and in order to clarify any misunderstanding, Wikipedia describes generative art as “art that has been generated, composed, or constructed in an algorithmic manner through the use of systems defined by computer software algorithms, or similar mathematical, mechanical or randomized autonomous processes”.

There are dozens of other projects in VC that reveal a similar visual output, and share an analogous execution process, however, there’s still a pivotal difference between them. All digital projects featured under Art are always fed by a specific data type (e.g. electrical signals from plants, cellphone traffic migration, rss feeds, images, URLs, or even barcodes). In opposition, these 7 projects are not dependent on any dataset. They were created by a specific algorithm that purely makes different “agents”, or “particles”, move through the screen in a semi-controlled way, leaving behind a rich trail of color and intricacy.

So why include these abstract pieces in VC? Because there’s an undeniable bond between Generative Art and VisualComplexity.com. A conceptual bond that embraces various scientific theories, such as Complexity, Chaos, Emergence and Information Theory, and relies on the philosophical notion of Rhizome, developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari on their groundbreaking book A Thousand Plateaus. Rhizome is a rich philosophical context for a collective mindset on “organized complexity”, which certainly influences many of us. This legitimate fascination is shared amongst many generative artists and is best exemplified in the words of Marius Watz: “I believe that the scientific principle of complexity is a crucial influence on the current scene, providing a departure from a reductionist understanding of the world”.

In order of appearance (left-right, top-down):