Looking Outwards: Generative and Algorithmic Arts

depth-10 quadtree + depth-3 voronoi tree from postspectacular on Vimeo.

This render was created by merging together two algorithmic structures. It was created algorithmically, nothing was done by hand. I thought it was incredible how knowledge and mastery of these data structures made it possible for them to be used as a medium to create visuals like these.


This excerpt from Artist and Computer contains many great examples of Manfred Mohr’s generative artwork, and discusses Mohr’s ideas about art and machines. Mohr’s work is interesting to me because there is a distinct aesthetic of Mohr’s work. Mohr works in a very abstracted way (using code to make rules) where the ‘artist’s hand’ is not necessarily seen in the work, but he is still able to create these stylized algorithms unique only to him.

Big-Eye Trevally from flight404 on Vimeo.

Big-Eye Trevally simulates the physics of thousands of fish in a group. I found this project very interesting because it’s a good example of playing around with algorithms directly from nature. With most generative art, the algorithm is created by the artist. In simulations such as those in Big-Eye Trevally, the algorithm is appropriated from nature itself.
This project made me very curious about algorithms and simulation. An artist can create an algorithm, and the computer can act as the simulator. In nature, the algorithms are the basic laws of physics, but what is the simulator? What makes these laws “go”? Generative art may be able to explore such ideas.

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