Art from code - Generator.x
Generator.x is a conference and exhibition examining the current role of software and generative strategies in art and design. [Read more...]

Abstraction Now, Künstlerhaus Wien, 29 Aug – 28 Sep 2003.

Abstraction Now was a seminal exhibition on abstraction in contemporary art, cutting across genres and media but featuring media art and generative works in a prominent position. Conceived and curated by Norbert Pfaffenbichler with Sandro Droschl, the show collected painting, sculpture, video and computer-based works grouped by abstraction as a theme.

The works of 74 artists were presented, 25 of them shown online and in a media lounge section of the show, curated by Lia and Miguel Carvalhais. The Abstraction Now online project is still online, featuring interactive and generative works by artists like Dextro, Levin, Lia, Yugop, Reas, Tindall etc.

A hefty catalogue was produced for the show, thoroughly documenting the works and providing a series of insightful texts on the exhibition theme. Norbert Pfaffenbichler presents a solid background to abstraction as artistic device, and then goes on to describe how generative works become algorithmic tableaux vivants. Lev Manovich’s text “Abstraction and Complexity” examines the works in the media lounge section, and argues that complexity is the main paradigm of generative software abstractions.

From the introduction to the catalogue:

The project ABSTRACTION NOW presented current tendencies of non-representative art, particularly focused on audio-visual media and interdisciplinary aspects. Classical artistic genres such as painting and sculpture were confronted with modern digital forms of expression in an interdisciplinary manner. In this context, the in art theory highly over-strained concept of Abstraction functioned as common denominator with respect to content, and it referred to so far hardly considered conceptual interrelations between individual disciplines.

The catalogue is available from Camera Austria. At 28 EUR, it’s good value for a high-quality production. And if you need proof, you can also access the catalogue texts in PDF form for free. Respect to Pfaffenbichler, Droschl etc. for making these texts available.


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The exhibition presents novel methods and tendencies of abstract contemporary art, focussed on audio-visual media and interdisciplinary aspects. Abstraction, a concept over-strained in art theory and ra…

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