Generative Definitions, Concepts, & Key-Words

September 9, 2008

Generative Art is:

  • “a term given to work which stems from concentrating on the processes involved in producing an artwork, usually (although not strictly) automated by the use of a machine or computer, or by using mathematic or pragmatic instructions to define the rules by which such artworks are executed.” ~ Adrian Ward
  • “any art practice where the artist creates a process, such as a set of natural language rules, a computer program, a machine, or other procedural invention, which is then set into motion with some degree of autonomy contributing to or resulting in a completed work of art.” ~ Philip Galanter

Terms & Short Descriptors:

  • Natural language Rules => code behind the artwork that remains relatively hidden
  • Algorithm => often mathematical to automatically or semi-automatically generate expressions in more conventional artistic forms
  • Process-Based => functions as a dynamic complex systems able to generate endless variations
  • Rules / Instructions-Based => external to the artist that either produces works of art or is itself
    a work of art
  • Determinants => programmed to define the space/environment and, thus, what data is collected
  • Autonomous System => system is set into motion with some degree of self-activation or incorporates inputs from a user or environment
  • Dynamic Complex Systems => generates endless variations complex relations of production
  • Mirror of Nature => maintains a naturalness of the industrial object
  • Synthesis => between art and science
  • Visual Representation => of  complex processes
  • Random Factors => produces organic behavior
  • Evolutionary Process => main technique of development and main message of
  • Output => system that produces the series of resources
  • Input => data or environmental factors retrieved from the system
  • Balanced Output => trying to achieve this while capturing decisions as logical structures

Why the Generative Approach?

  • Creates chance compositions set by parameters in the artist’s code to occur
  • Allows viewers to understand patterns and systems of meaning occurring in the explored environment

Why is it interesting?

  • To a degree, autonomous systems which can be aware of their surroundings and respond to their environment
  • Control is exerted through a collaborative interrelationship of: producer[artist], hardware[computer], and software
  • Predefined Principles of Action replaces individual aesthetic decisions which creates new content out of material provided for that purpose



One comment

  1. Hi Katie,
    You may find this interesting.



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