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...]
 
Archive for March, 2008
 

Update: It’s now clear that the news about the Serero project for the Eiffel Tower is a hoax, as seen on Archinect and NY Times. Thanks to Sarrach for the tip.

Good news for anyone planning to visit that Parisian icon, the Eiffel Tower: A competition for an extension of the tower’s public areas aims to reduce wait times and increase its visitor capacity. And best of all, the winning entry was produced through a generative design process.

Serero Architects have proposed an extension of the top plateau of the tower, using a carbon Kevlar structure capable of carrying the weight of visitors venturing out onto the observation deck to take in the beauty of the French capital. Without any physical modification to the existing structure, it will double the available floor surface.

The generative script was inspired by the cross bracing beams that give the Eiffel Tower its architectural signature, generating 3 interconnected woven forms. The result is a nice combination of the current architectural trend of sub-divided surfaces and the Art Nouveau flourishes of the original tower. Considering that many Parisians hated the tower when it was first built, it will be interesting to see how they react to this revision of their shared heritage.

See Serero Architects for more of their projects involving generative design. Via Madeincalifornia, a great blog about computational architecture.

 
Generator.x 2.0: Disassembled / Theverymany: Aperiodic Vertebrae

Generator.x 2.0: Disassembled / Theverymany: Aperiodic_Vertebrae

Saturday was the last day of the Generator.x 2.0 exhibition at [DAM]Berlin. The occasion was marked with an informal curator talk, followed by Q+A. The 1-month show has had a great reception, proving popular both with the Transmediale crowd and the general art viewing public. While it’s always nice to reach with a community of one’s peers, reaching “regular people” is extra satisfying.

A slightly less enjoyable task was the disassembly of the exhibition in preparation for shipping. It is always bittersweet moment to see an exhibition disassembled and stuck in the back of an old Toyota Corrolla. See the following image to get an impression of this anti-climactic view.

Thankfully, any sadness was alleviated by knowing that 24 hours after being packed into this car, the works arrived safely in Turin, Italy to be part of the SHARE Festival. Bruce Sterling is the guest curator of this year’s festival, the theme of which is “Manufacturing”. After Bruce attended to the opening of Generator.x 2.0 we started discussing the possibility of taking the show to SHARE, a plan that will come to fruition tomorrow when the exhibition re-opens in Turin.

Fabbing workshop at HyperWerk

Works from fabbing workshop at HyperWerk, Basel

A few of the pieces from Berlin won’t be on display in Turin, for instance Aperiodic_Vertebrae by Theverymany aka Marc Fornes and Skylar Tibbits. This ambitious installation turned out to be too complex for the show at [DAM]Berlin, and so we sadly had to display a creative deconstruction of the intricate polygon structure instead of the cantilever bridge-like form it was meant to be. But now there is the exciting news that Skylar and Marc are producing a reworked and more stable version for NODE08 in Frankfurt. We look forward to seeing documentation of it fully built.

A few pieces have been also been added, the results of a fabbing workshop at HyperWerk that followed on the heels of the Berlin workshop and featured some of the same people. Martin Fuchs has provided some intriguing polygon forms in paper and cardboard that he didn’t have time to finish in Berlin, and Leander Herzog has produced a selection of plastic branching structures that point towards an organic exploration of plastic as material.

The big list of Thank you!

As the project now finally winds down, we wish to express our gratitude to everybody who contributed to making Generator.x 2.0 such a great even, in particular the following:

  • Club Transmediale, in particular the curators Jan Rohlf and Oliver Baurhenn who gave the project the green light and supported it wonderfully through its various phases.
  • Anke Eckardt, for being an excellent producer both for the workshop and for the concert evening.
  • [DAM]Berlin and Wolf Lieser, for providing the gallery space and much-needed help in turning a big mess into a presentable exhibition in the space of a single afternoon.
  • The Ballhaus Naunynstrasse and its crew, for providing everything from technical support to much-needed coffee.
  • Lasern and Martin Bauer, for making it possible to have a laser cutter on site, and for helping out with laser know-how.
  • HyperWerk Institute for Postindustrial Design, for fabbing support and for contributing a quota of skilled students.
  • The Office For Contemporary Art Norway for supporting the project financially.
  • Bruce Sterling and Luca Barbeni of the SHARE Festival, for taking the show to Italy and showing it to a new audience.

Finally, we wish to thank all the participants for their enthusiasm and generous sharing of skills during the workshop. It was a pleasure to work with you. We can only hope that Generator.x 2.0 will result in new networks being formed, with interesting projects as a result.

 

Skot (Frank / Gmachl): aka (audio by General Magic) from Tina Frank on Vimeo.

We have posted about the Vienna scene and the Austrian Abstracts here on previous occasions, but the video work that was central to that movement has generally not been available for viewing online. Therefore, it’s with great pleasure we see that Tina Frank has posted some early videos to Vimeo. Let’s hope other artists follow her initiative, it would be nice to have an online archive of these early experiments somewhere.

Shown above is the video AKA by Skot, produced for Gasbook 4. Skot was the name used by Tina Frank and Mathias Gmachl for a number of collaborations from 1996 to 2000. Gmachl is also one of the founders of farmersmanual, a collective that was central to the Vienna scene. “Aka” means “red” in Japanese, and the video was made with Image/ine software from Steim, one of the very first softwares to support realtime processing of video on a regular computer.

Frank created the video "iii" below by taking digital audio files of the music by Peter Rehberg (Pita) and opening them as raw pixel data in Photoshop. An oval image mask was superimposed, giving a more specific form to the resulting video. The result is classic glitch, taking a signal of a given form and deliberately misinterpreting it as something else.

More videos on Tina Frank's Vimeo stream.

Tina Frank: iii (audio by Pita) from Tina Frank on Vimeo.

 

NODE08 is a new festival for digital art set to to take place in Frankfurt April 5-12. The near-final programme is now out, and it is shaping up to be a powerful event indeed. While the topic is realtime art in general, the event is loosely based around the VVVV tool, making it the first VVVV-centric festival ever. With a full week of workshops, exhibits, concerts and live visuals, it should be a treat not just for VVVV aficionados, but for anyone interested in digital art.

The lecture program yields heavy-hitting names like Casey Reas, Herbert W. Franke, Paul Prudence, Verena Kuni, Theverymany and Berthold Scharrer. The many workshops will feature hands-on topics like “vvvv for Beginners”, “Shader Programming” and “Microcontroller And Sensor Handling”. Not all the workshops are about VVVV, for instance Casey Reas will give a tutorial on printing-related strategies using Processing. In any case there should be plenty of practical input to take home.

On the performance side of things generative VJs like Onoxo, Desaxismundi and Elektromeier promise to make the evening events interesting. The ever-present VVVV guru David Dessens aka Sanch will be performing under the new project “VA” with Nushitzu.

NODE08 is part of the Luminale light art festival, which will feature works by NODE08 participants. Have a look at the NODE08 web site for details on the programme as well as ticket booking. It’s guaranteed to be an event worth catching.

Clarification regard VVVV: Joreg from the VVVV group has asked us to clarify that VVVV is no longer produced by Meso, but rather by a group of 4 developers known as the “VVVV group” (two of whom work at Meso). This is a change from the early days when VVVV was maintained directly by Meso.

As a total malapropos, Meso has one of the best company mottos we’ve seen in a while: “Unimpressed by technology since 1982″.