This week, I have decided to explore the generative art of artist and creative coder Matt Deslauriers. In the particular experiment I am investigating Deslauriers has decided to depict a ‘seed’ that is randomly generated using simplex noises to render the particle’s size, position, scale, noise and velocity. As the artwork uses Node.js and Canvas to output frames as mp4 videos, when the user clicks the frame, the seed characteristics and background color is further randomised. I really admire and am impressed by Deslauriers’ generative art experiment because he managed to think every element through very carefully, despite having a limited degree of control over a randomised composition. For example, in order to achieve color contrast between each frame, he used a module by another developer to ensure legibility of text on background color and visual harmony between elements, demonstrating his acute attention to detail. Overall, I think each composition is very beautiful, and the artist was able to demonstrate his artistic sensibilities by investigating contrasts, the shape of the strokes the underlying framework which the generative strokes follow (e.g. grid, circular, hexagonal).
The work of Siebren Versteeg caught my attention this week due to its playful deceit. Versteeg creates work that emulates the style of contemporary abstract artists through writing code which, with a series of randomized variables, creates unique pieces of art. Versteeg explains that although he considers his work randomized, there is still human bias of beauty in his work present in his ensuring that the pieces still looked, “dripped”, and “stuck” like a physical painting.
With this being said, it is evident that Siebren Versteeg used code with variables limited within a certain range. For example, the colors depicted in his work do not mix as they “normally” would digital, for mediums like oil or acrylic behave differently. Versteeg’s artistic sensibility is definitely self-aware, as his work is just as much about the process and product as it is commentary on the art world at large. The lines between human expression and randomized calculations is thoroughly blurred.
smiling face withface is a Tumblr-bot that was created by Allison Parrish, a computer programmer, poet, educator and game designer who currently teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. smiling face generates and posts glitchy emoticons, pulling randomly from the open-source SVG files from Twitter’s twemoji project. The randomness, in this case, is obtained from a set data source (Twitter’s emojis, of which there are 2841) , and a Python program adjusts the numbers and paths from the emoji taken. The results are strange amalgamations that are fun, quirky, and very colorful, and most of the time, nearly unrecognizable from the original source. Personally, I think the glitchy-ness makes viewing these emojis more interesting, if sometimes uncomfortable, because you know what it is but there’s something that’s slightly off. Many of them make me laugh, and the project is still ongoing into October 2018, so there’s more to look forward to!
For this week’s looking outward, I found my piece of random art on a website called the ReCode Project. The ReCode Project is a “community-driven effort to preserve computer art by translating it into a modern programming language (Processing). Every translated work will be available to the public to learn from, share, and build on.” The piece I am focusing on is based on Untitled 4, by various artists, recoded by Corneel Cannaerts.
Every time the mouse is clicked, the lines/rectangles generate in a new way. I liked this piece because it is very geometric and everyone would see something different in it (especially because it is random). I also liked how the vertical lines almost look like a background, and the horizontal ones seem to pop out as if they are 3D on top of the vertical lines. This was made with Processing, which I also liked because it is similar to what we are using in this class. I thought that the ReCode project overall was also a great idea, I like that it is focused on helping the society as a whole learn from these projects.
This week I decided to take a look at Andrej Bauer’s random art. Within the image, the mathematical formula determines the color of each pixel in the image. Within the code, there is a list of operators referring to the other operators in the list. The idea of the image is to generate expression trees to describe an image. For each point of the image (x,y) we will evaluate the expression and get a color. The colors are determined by (r, g, b) which are numbers between -1 and 1. The image displayed is a large number of rectangles (pixels) on the canvas. The program uses a RGB color model. The model uses Python and it can be changed by introducing new operators.
As a member of the American abstract expressionist movement, Joan Mitchell was one of the few female artists of this movement to gain acclaim for her work. In this painting “Ici,” Mitchell used oil paint to show emotion through color, brush stroke, and movement. I can sense a variety of emotions through the random brush strokes, specifically through angles and the amount of pressure on the brush.
Playing sports as a child, Mitchell took her passion for diving and skating into her works. I believe her athleticism led her to have no restrictions in her art. For example, in all her pieces, especially in “Ici,” she does not use rulers, but uses her movements to create. She embraced the randomness and flexibility of the paint brush to create symbolic works of art. I really admire “Ici” the most out of all her paintings, because she balances the use of saturated and desaturated colors perfectly. Also, I love how random Mitchell’s lines and shapes are in this painting, which oddly harmonize together.
LifeObject, is an innovative installation that exhibits the linear and structural properties of a bird’s nest. LifeObject was initially designed based off of the visuals of a nest through 3D scanning. With scientific analysis through architecture, it is made with over 1500 components, resembling twigs. These twigs rely on tension and are light weight, opaque, and sturdy. In addition, the presence of living bodies triggers a variety of unique biological elements.
There is a system of hierarchy reflected through the process, from design to fabrication to assembly. The entire form is made by the use of gravity and that is where randomness comes into the design. With the analysis of the bird’s nest, twig-like structures were produced and arranged/bent randomly with a preset value, which means that the form of LifeObject is adaptable. The core is simple, the inner array is varied slightly, and the edges are diverse in static movement.
The introduction and practice of new materials blurred the line between digital fabrication processes and design. And this sort of architectural exploration – properties of materials and modes of transformation – came from the architect’s palette of expression.
LifeObject Article: Inside Israel’s Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale by Arielle Blonder, 2016
One project that I discovered that displays a sense of randomness is the composition In C by Terry Riley. This piece of music has many different interpretations to it because it is an open-ended piece. The ideal number of players is around 35, however there have been many instances where significantly more or less players have performed it. Rather than having a written part for each instrument, In C only shows fragments of measures. It is each musician’s job to decide when to play each fragment and when to move onto the next one. No two players will be playing the exact same thing. What makes this piece “random” is that it is impossible for two performances to be the same if not even similar. The instrumentation always varies, and the piece can range from 15 minutes to over an hour. In addition, the musicians demonstrate a sense of randomness because they do not have a set time when they change to another rhythm, so every time they play it, it is different. What I admire about this project is that Riley was able to create a piece that allows each player to make their own artistic decisions and have freedom from the written page.