As one of the most renowned abstract artist, Marcel Duchamp produced “two works of music and a conceptual piece—a note suggesting a musical happening” between 1912 – 1915. Similar to his other creative work, his compositions represent a radical departure from anything done up till his time. In the process of the composing, Duchamp made three sets of 25 cards, one for each voice with a single note per card, where extensive passages of pitches and rhythms are fully specified, but the rhythmic coordination of parts within the ensemble is subject to an element of chance. It is considered as one of the earliest work that is mechanically driven and largely determined by random procedures.
Manolo Gamboa Noan is an Argentinian generative artist who is known for his bright and chaotic images. According to Manolo’s bio on an art collection website, he focuses on exploring such dichotomies as chaotic v.s. ordered, organic v.s. artificial, and random v.s. controlled.
I am drawn to the piece “Mantel Rojo” because of the bright, jarring presence it has. Even though it is made entirely within the bounds of a computer, something we usually subconsciously consider to be cold and lifeless, the image is full of warmth and life. The randomness that Manolo plays with makes the image more real and expressive, making the audience feel as though there is a natural element to the image.
The artist divides the screen to 36 panels which each displays beautiful transformation of lines. The directions, curvatures, and the compositions of the lines are based on geometric operations and logical rules that build random sequences.
Each panel has a very different outcome as they followed different rules and algorithms. The randomness creates a sense of surprise as the viewers have no idea what the picture will look like in the next second. While lacking order, the piece does not seem to be in chaos. The lines are constrained in those clear, definite rectangles, which have a sense of logic and order that makes interesting contradiction to the movements of the lines. I enjoy the liveliness and the sense of movement in this piece. The artist explores the concept of shapes, randomness, order, space, and constraints, making the piece both aesthetically pleasing and thought-provoking.
The artist Pascal Dombis uses digital tools and computer generation to explore the complexities of visual paradoxes. Many of his art appears like a glitch on the computer, although it has been carefully crafted through algorithmic elements that produce a controlled chaotic randomness. This is the paradox that Dombis is attempting to create in his artwork, which is that while the computer code and technology is very much controlled by the user, the resulting artwork it produces becomes something completely random and out of our imagination. This paradox in his artwork creates a feeling of unease and the loss of structure that we often find comfort in through technology. I admire his artworks because it inspires me to think deeper about the relationship we have with the control of technology.
A piece of random art that I admire is “Arc“ by Marius Watz. This piece is interesting to me because it uses ‘pseudo- random numbers’ to generate a 2-D depiction of a 3-D Design. After this initial translate of 3D to 2D, this piece is translated yet again from digital means to physical means as it is screen-printed by hand onto a canvas. The piece uses very vibrant colors which draw the eye into the piece. The artist has created depth by simulating a 3-D shape, which works again with the colors to keep the eye engaged. I think this piece is a very successful example of how random numbers can lead to organic and engaging pieces of tangible art.
This week, I am taking a look at Aizek Live‘s series of Generative Studies, which incorporates elements of randomness through allowing an autonomous system to make decisions on its own, partially through an added element of randomness and otherwise through the design of a system for the sole purpose of making these decisions.
All of the projects were created in Notch, running in real-time on Geforce 1080 Ti. I was particularly drawn to this project because it reinforces the idea that there is such a thing as being “designed for randomness”, where certain parameters are still set in place in order the limit the scope of the design. I think the artist did a good job in their rationale highlighting the importance of restraints in design to help achieve something that ‘appears’ completely random or generative, whereas true randomness can may in actuality appear more skewed towards one result over the other.
Tree Growth is a piece of computer generated art that uses randomness to generate realistic looking trees of all shapes and sizes. It uses various leaf shapes and different species of trees, and the leaf color can also change based on the different seasons. I find this artwork really fascinating because the algorithm makes the trees look almost photo-realistic, which sets it apart from other computer-generated tree art. Its use of randomness is what makes the trees look very realistic. As a painter, I know that creating leaves on trees is a very random process, and the program accurately mimics this random process.
To create this art, Thorp used the Lindenmayer Systems. In 2006, the artwork was featured in the “Into the Woods” collection in London at the Digital Well Being Labs.
The work is called “e4708” by Mark Wilson. This is a random computer generated artwork. I admired how there are aspects of randomness and some aspects of organized arrays and shapes in the artwork. It is very unique because it was randomly generated, but it also is unique in the sense that it looks like a colorful PCB board for computers. I think this was really eye-catching because the artwork is random but still reminds me of something tangible and real. The artist supposedly used layers that helped produce some of the calculated repetition in the artwork, but most of the aspects were “left to chance” and were randomly chosen by the computer. Mark Wilson’s artistic sensibilities are manifested in this final form, because based on his previous works, a lot of his works use repetition of circles and squares in rows and columns, and all seem to look somewhat like machinery/computer parts.
This program was created by Andrej Bauer in ocaml. The website contains a web version using ocamljs. To run the program, you are able to input a title for your piece. Based on the documentation, works are normally composed of two words. The words trigger a formula that randomly generates pseudo-random numbers which then create the picture. It is pseudo-random because the same word will always trigger the same number output and create the same artwork. Within the two word name, the first name determines the colors and layout of focal point. The second word determines the arrangement of the pixels in the image. When I first tested this out, I only typed in one word so I wonder how the program works if only given one input.
I admire this project because of the connections created between words, art, and randomness. It is wonderful seeing all of the art generators out there pushing the limits of the meaning of art and creativity. I find the parameters chosen for the two inputs to be interesting, and I wonder what it might look like if different parameters of the piece were explored.
This project is also quite exciting because of the large number of possibilities it can create. I don’t know how many combinations of two words there are, but I’m sure there are a lot. This website allows you to make your own image and then submit it to a library for people to vote on their favorites. It would be interesting to what words are used to make the best pictures using this algorithm.