We all have the creative and destructive impelling us to us to act, to generate. Pent up life experience and emotions must find their way out of the mind through the body and hands somehow in an intellectual, visceral and procedural expression. There as many ways of this as there are people alive, we all get our kicks from the urges, and digital technology has freed the artist to explore interactivity and the machine as the canvas. But do one’s and zero’s count in coded art and computer vision when materiality has reigned for centuries? 01!
Lofty polemic aside, today’s generated digital visions have emerged out of the 60’s video art aesthetic, informed by the early computer generated abstractions in the 70’s and later influenced by the retro 80’s colour and shapes of 8-bit gaming. While the digital has expanded the potential for the production, distribution and curation of traditional art practices, new technologies and coding languages now constitute what has recently been discussed as the New Aesthetic at SXSW in 2012. It is largely concerned with how machines/ computers/algorithms generate imagery and how this ‘vision’ interacts with physicality to inform artistic expression and cultural value.
The New Aesthetic is quite a diffuse network-art-movement and at these early stages is very vague. Sterling’s Wired Essay does much to critically assess the nascent ideas while Rev Catt’s Short Article helps to simply some of the components involved, but this excellent article on Cyber-Aesthetics and Degrees of Autonomy (Lichty, 2013) is an analysis of the Algorist, Glitcher and the Drone/Big Data curator in the NA. Rather than attempt a clumsy summary I will quote directly:
“Is the aesthetic of the machine image merely a function of examining its processes, fetishizing its errors, or something else… one of the key criteria for the evaluation of NA practice and the function of its images depends upon the degree of control and autonomy inherent in the process within the creation of the image… from Algorism and Generative Art to autonomous eyes like drones and satellites… It seems that NA is an ongoing reflection upon the continuum of control over the generation of the image, our beliefs regarding its aesthetics, and what the intentions or politics are behind the creation of the New Aesthetic image.”
Some of the major currents in the New Aesthetic (NA) include: drone photography, ubiquitous surveillance, satellite imagery, glitch manipulation, 8-bit nostalgia, biohacking, neuro imaging and generative processing (honorable mention: V J). Each of these could probably make a post in and of themselves but I feel I’ve sledgehammered enough words together over this semester. So instead here are some of my favourite generative interactive modules from openprocessing.org that entertains a degree of control that questions how interactivity, GUI and instructables influences creative engagement… Thanks for reading!
Count Down to Render…
Wikimedia Commons: Microwaved disks… – D-Kuru – [altered]
Catt, Rev Dan (2012) ‘Why the New Aesthetic isn’t about… <http://revdancatt.com/2012/04/07/why-the-new-aesthetic-isnt-about-8bit-retro-the-robot-readable-world-computer-vision-and-pirates/>
Lichty, Patrick (2013) ‘New Aesthetics: Cyber-Aesthetics and Degrees of Autonomy’ Furtherfield <http://www.furtherfield.org/features/articles/new-aesthetics-cyber-aesthetics-and-degrees-autonomy>
Sterling, Bruce (2012) ‘An Essay on the New Aesthetic’ Wired <http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/04/an-essay-on-the-new-aesthetic/>
Bitcraft ‘Magnetic Bubbles’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/6884>
Carpio, Javier ‘Sea Life’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/65889>
D-Kuru ‘Microwaved disks-cover fractal trees-scann PNr°0050’ Wikimedia Commons <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Microwaved_disks-cover_fractal_trees-scann_PNr%C2%B00050.jpg>
DC Offset, ‘Generative Prayer #1’ Soundcloud <http://soundcloud.com/dcoffset/generative-prayer-1>
Diewald, Thomas ‘QRcode Generator’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/12942>
Fleming, Marc ‘Homeostat_v2_03’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/67855>
Guigui ‘The Guiguitrochoid’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/760>
Hufstedler, Esteban ‘Rorschach Generator’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/4675>
Lastowka, Adam ‘Fractal Demonstration’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/60038>
Siroski, Pawel ‘Plane Symmetry’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/61739>
Sluis, Karl ‘ Variations on Noise Lines (Jesse Smith)’ OpenProcessing <http://openprocessing.org/sketch/47605>