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...]
Calls / Info

Call for proposals, workshops and commissions, or information about relevant events. If you have something to add, please email info at generatorx dot no.

Jumping on bandwagons is best done sooner rather than later, so we are hereby happy to announce that Generator.x now has its very own Twitter feed.

Microblogs like Twitter allow for a very immediate communication that requires less of a commitment than a regular blog. A 500 word blog post might take a few hours to write, whereas a 140 character long Twitter update only takes a few minutes. The interaction between Twitter users is also more explicit than is typical for blogs, creating a distributed conversation that at best can be thought of as a hive mind.

Here is the feed from so far:

  • Visualization: 2008 Presidential Candidate Donations: McCain vs. Obama
  • Erik Natzke goes to NextFest:
  • Martin Wattenberg talks to WIRED about big text data:
  • Knowledge Cartography – cartography as tool for communication and the production of meaning: Video:
  • Media Facades 2008 in Berlin looks interesting:
  • Blinkenlights: Oldie but Goodie. Now with a library for Processing for creating Blinkenlights movies.
  • Maxalot presents the projection series “Processing Light” tonight at Todaysart, The Hague:
  • @anfischer has posted nice documentation of recent work on Flickr:
  • Podcast from Die Gestalten about Data Flow, their new book about visualization:
  • Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, MASS MoCA
  • Vizualizar’08: Database City – Call for papers The seminar will be at Medialab Prado, curated by Jose Luis De Vicente.
  • The Piksel festival in Bergen has posted calls for their “abstract code real code” theme:
  • Mitchell Whitelaw has an interesting new series: Limits to Growth See also his Flickr:
  • @toxi retweet : new blog post: Generative design in 4096 bytes or less (Will Wright & the 4k demoscene)
  • WMMNA has a nice summary of C.STEM 2008: Breeding Objects
  • CORE.FORMULA has a nice blog post about Austrian sculptor Erwin Hauger: See also Flickr:
  • C.STEM 2008 – BREEDING OBJECTS currently underway in Turin, feat. fabbing and generative art.
  • Esther Stocker makes wonderful installations of grid structures in 2D and 3D:
  • New issue of Vague Terrain about curating net-based art, guest edited by CONT3XT.NET.
  • Blog post from @arikan: From Network Diagram to Structured Text
  • C.STEM 2008 in Turin has a nice lineup of fabbing works : (In Italian)
  • Jeff Clark is doing some nice visualization work with a focus on social media:
  • Just created a Generator.x Twitter feed to compensate for long breaks between blog posts…

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″.


CTM.08­ – Unpredictable
Festival for Adventurous Music and Related Visual Arts

Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the Screen
24 Jan -­ 2 Feb 2008, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse / [DAM] Berlin
Workshop / Exhibition / Performance


Leander Herzog: thePhysicalVertexBuffer

Generator.x in collaboration with Club Transmediale and [DAM] presents Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the screen, a workshop and exhibition about digital fabrication and generative systems.

Digital fabrication (also known as “fabbing”) represents the next step in the digital revolution. After years of virtualization, with machines and atoms being replaced by bits and software, we are coming full circle. Digital technologies like rapid prototyping, laser cutting and CNC milling now produce atoms from bits, eliminating many of the limitations of industrial production processes. Once prohibitively expensive, such technologies are becoming increasingly accessible, pointing to a future where mass customization and manufacturing-on-demand may be real alternatives to mass production.

For artists and designers working with generative systems, digital fabrication opens the door to a range of new expressions beyond the limits of virtual space. Parametric models apply computational strategies to the analysis and synthesis of space, producing structures and surfaces of great complexity. Through fabbing these forms may be rendered tangible, even tactile.

"Beyond the screen" explores these new types of spatial constructs in a hands-on workshop, bringing together artists and designers working with code-based strategies for producing physical form. The workshop will feature public presentations bringing the topics of the workshop to a broader audience, culminating in an exhibition of fabbing works at the [DAM] gallery. In a continuation of the Generator.x concert tour, "Beyond the Screen" will also include an evening of concerts, showing the use of generative systems in audiovisual performance.


Jared Tarbell: Spheroids and cubes

Call for participants

We are looking for 15 artists, designers and architects who have an existing practice based on generative systems and custom software, and who are interested in investigating physical formats through digital fabrication. The workshop will be practical in nature, and will produce a selection of works that will be included in the exhibition at [DAM]. Participants will have access to an on-site laser cutter, and an introduction to this technology will be part of the workshop.

The workshop is free of charge, but we will not be able to provide support for travel or accomodation. Participants are expected to have experience with programming software that will allow them to produce work suitable for production, such as Processing, VVVV or any other system capable of producing vector output. Previous experience with laser cutting or digital fabrication technologies is a bonus, but not a requirement.

Applications must be in PDF format and should including a CV and a short statement of intent, describing why you want to participate in the workshop and how fabbing relates to your existing practice. You should include a maximum of 5 images of relevant work, with a total file size of 2 megabytes. Feel free to provide links to web sites containing documentation such as videos or downloadable software, but please don’t send such content by email.

Please submit applications by email to generatorx [at] The deadline for application is December 21, 2007, accepted participants will be notified at the beginning of January 2008.


Theverymany (Fornes / Tibbits): Tesselated panels

Generator.x & Club Transmediale

Generator.x is a platform for generative strategies in art and design, founded in 2005 to produce the conference Generator.x: Art from Code at Atelier Nord in Oslo. Other events have included a travelling exhibition as well as a series of audiovisual concerts. The Generator.x blog promotes code-based work of an experimental nature, bringing a critical discourse to the field of generative art.

Club Transmediale 2008 is the 9th edition of this international festival for adventurous music and realted visual arts, and takes place in Berlin under the theme “Unpredictable” concurrently and cooperatively with the transmediale ­ international festival for art and digital culture. It is a prominent festival dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital and experimental music, as well as the diverse range of artistic activities in the context of sound and club culture.

Characterised by the title Unpredictable, the 2008 festival investigates artistic concepts that imply the surprising and unforeseeable, accidents, mistakes and coincidences as a means to alter the dynamics of creative processes and to discover new aesthetic forms.

[DAM] Berlin has since its opening 2003 been a leader in the field of digital art, showing pioneers of new media as well as emerging contemporary artists.

Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the screen is supported by The Office for Contemporary Art Norway. We also thank our partners: Institut HyperWerk HGK FHNW and Lasern. .

Node 08: Digital Arts Forum / Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft: EnBW Lichtspiel

Festival: NODE08 / Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft: EnBW Lichtspiel

VVVV has slowly but steadily been gaining fame as a tool for realtime video synthesis. Artists like David Dessens, Jannis Urle Kilian Kreft (see image above) and Thomas Hitthaler (aka Ampop) have amply proven its maturity as a platform for live visuals, interactive installations and generative graphics. For more proof, take a look at MESO’s media design projects. Their work for Salzzeitreise Berchtesgaden looks spectacular.

Now a group of VVVV users have decided to celebrate their community by setting up a festival called NODE08. Set to take place in Frankfurt next April, the event will be part of the Luminale light art festival. In addition to an exhibition it will feature workshops and lectures on VVVV-related subjects, as well as a club night for the VVVV Fan Club to strut their stuff.

The NODEo8 organizers are currently looking for submissions, so if you’re working with VVVV and light you should head over to their submission page. The participants will have their work shown as part of the Luminale programme, which should give extra attention beyond the usual media art crowd.

Other VVVV posts: Seelenlose Automaten, *#07 video, Reality Foam, Sanch TV, Dein Lieblingsgestalter.


If you don’t have plans for September 11-12 and would like an excuse to visit London, the Media Architecture conference at Central Saint Martins Innovation might make your day. Looking at the impact of large-scale integrated displays on architecture, it’s bound to feature plenty of inspiring presentations about the future of media architecture. Speakers include Joachim Sauter from ART+COM, Tim Edler from Realities united, Els Vermang from Lab[au] and many more.

They’re offering a limited number of last minute tickets starting tomorrow, giving full access for a very reasonable £150. Sounds like a good deal.


Berlin-based sister festivals Transmediale and Club Transmediale 2008 have just posted their call for entries:

transmediale.08 Conspire … & club transmediale.08 Unpredictable
Together, transmediale and club transmediale invite the submission of works and projects for the festival 2008. Submissions for both festivals participate in the transmediale Award 2008, for which an international jury will award prizes totalling ca. 10 000 EUR. Abstracts and papers for a proposed Vilém Flusser Theory Award are also being invited. [...]

Deadline: 7 September 2008
URL: Transmediale 2008 Call for Entries

Transmediale will be back at its old venue, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, with a new director replacing Andreas Broeckmann. It will be interesting to see what new direction (if any) the festival takes as a result of the change.

Meanwhile, we are hoping to do a new Generator.x symposium in collaboration with Club Transmediale 2008, but it’s a little too early to confirm. If it happens details will be posted here. Cross your fingers…


Elements of Chance is a YouTube-based conference, organized by Greg Niemeyer and Meredith Hoy at the Center for New Media, Berkeley:

Elements of Chance. On July 7, 2007, The Center for New Media at the University of California at Berkeley will hold a conference entitled “Elements of Chance”. Seventh in a series of algorithmically timed events, the first of which took place at SFMOMA on 01/01/01, the subject of this conference is the role of chance operations in new media artifacts, such as games, music, simulations, and images. The algorithmic basis of digital media has encouraged a proliferation of projects that explore the generative effects of randomness and probability in the field of art production. When and how do media developers, programmers, and artists choose to allow random or pseudo-random operations to affect the performance of a media artifact?
Instead of traditional papers we solicit video contributions that engage these questions. Each presenter will film either a 7 or a 14 minute video discussing the role of chance in a particular work. We encourage submissions from both art practitioners and art critics/historians. To that end, presenters may speak about their own work or about another artist, as long as the content of the video circulates around the central theme of “chance”.

Deadline: 15 May 2007

Apr 23/07

Call for proposals in Florence, Italy, from our friends at Italian media design agency TODO:


BIP 2007 – BUILDING INTERACTIVE PLAYGROUNDS BIP is an international competition for interaction design projects for public events. Through an international call for works, opened to interaction designers, artists, researchers, architets and students, it aims to select, invite and show interactive installations, specifically conceived for events and public spaces.

Simple and straight-forward projects, involving exploration, irony, play and social relationships, that can intrigue a curious and young audience. Projects that are able to transform festival locations into programmed spaces, active processes, playing with time, space and people.

Deadline: 10 May 2007


Generator.x has been on extended (and unannounced) one-month holiday, but now summer is ending and blogging will slowly resume. To warm up, here are a few random links that have accumulated:

  • AOL reSearch has just managed to release a substantial data set containing 20 million search queries from over 650 000 users. What was probably an eager attempt at scoring Open Source brownie points, has rapidly become a public relations disaster. Americans are rightly paranoid about their privacy, and the data set is likely to include personal data like names, social security numbers, unpleasant searches for porn and violent images etc.

    The original post has not surprisingly been removed from AOL, although a cached copy can be seen using Google's cache. Mirrors posting the data set can easily be found, one of the best bets is to try the Bittorrent download. While the release of these data is bad news, it’s sure to be of interest to information visualizers and dataminers. It would almost be surprising if no art works came out of this debacle.

    Read Techcrunch for a good overview of the whole story.

  • Kunstverein Medienturm in Graz will feature a show called Further Processing in September. The show will show software-based works created with Processing, and also give a presentation of the tool itself. Contributing artists are Pablo Miranda Carranza, Fabio Franchino, Ben Fry, Golan Levin, Lia, Mark Napier, C.E.B. Reas, Karsten Schmidt, Martin Wattenberg, Marius Watz. The show is curated by Sandro Droschl (director of Medienturm and one of the curators behind Abstraction Now) and myself.
  • Art.ficial Emotion 3.0 is an interesting exhibition at Itau Cultural in Sao Paulo, Brazil, featuring a major presentation of media artists whose works relate to cybernetic theory. See Paul Prudence's writeup on Dataisnature for a summary. Regine over at we-make-money-not-art recently did a interview with Guilherme Kujawski, one of the curators of the show. In it he presents his ideas about the exhibition and its relation to cybernetic theory.

    For visual impressions of the show, see the following Flickr sets : mrprudence, watz.

  • Code & Form is a new blog I’ve started to cover more technical and code-related issues that would be too geeky for Generator.x. This separation of content means that Generator.x will be more clearly focused on finished works and theory, rather than tools and technology.
  • Ars Electronica is around the corner, if anyone is going and would like to meet up please send me an email on marius at unlekker net. I had thought of organizing an official Generator.x gathering, but there are not enough hours in the day… Hope to see some of you there anyway!

Some new calls for projects in the Nordic region, the first being the brain child of several people involved in the Generator.x conference in Oslo. Please note that these calls are also for international artists.

Call for artworks – INTERFACE and SOCIETY exhibition, Oslo.
Organized by Atelier Nord, to take place at Henie-Onstad Art Center. Curators: Atle Barcley, Erich Berger, Jana Winderen.

In our everyday life we constantly have to cope more or less successfully with interfaces. We use the mobile phone, the mp3 player, and our laptop, in order to gain access to the digital part of our life. In recent years this situation has lead to the creation of new interdisciplinary subjects like “Interaction Design” or “Physical Computing”.
The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY investigates how artists deal with the transformation of our everyday life through technical interfaces. With the rapid technological development a thoroughly critique of the
interface towards society is necessary.

The role of the artist is thereby crucial. S/he has the freedom to deal with technologies and interfaces beyond functionality and usability. The project INTERFACE and SOCIETY is looking at this development with a special focus on the artistic contribution.
Deadline: 1 July 2006
URL: Atelier Nord: Interface & Society

Call for entries. Electrohype 2006, the fourth Nordic biennial for computer based art.
Organized by Electrohype, to take place in Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden.

Electrohype has since the start in 1999 focused on what we choose to call computer based art. Art that runs of computers and utilizes the capacity of the computer to mix various media, allow interaction with the audience, or machines interacting with each others etc. in other words art that can not be transferred to “traditional” linear media. This might seem as a narrow approach but we have discovered that it gives us a better focus on a genre that in no way is narrow.

We are not looking for “straight” video art (even if it is edited on a computer) or still images rendered on computers and other material that refers to more “traditional” media forms. Forms were the traditional tools have been replaced with computers and software.
Deadline: 3 July 2006
URL: Electrohype 2006 call

The Electrohype call is exciting, since they had long ago announced the likely death of the Electrohype organization and thus also the biennial. With Electrohype resurrected, there are currently three major exhibitions of media art underways in Norway and Sweden (the third being Article). With Pixelache in Finland and various projects in Denmark completing the picture, that means the Nordic scene is still going strong.