Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms (slideshow of “gx30″ tag on Flickr)
Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms
Feb 18-26, 2012 at iMal, Brussels
The Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms workshop at iMAL, Brussels culminated last Friday in an exhibition of works created during the week. As expected there is a wide range of works and expressions, from Makerbot’ted data sculptures (Frederik Vanhoutte, Andrej Boleslavsky, Katerina Konstantopoulos + Erato Choli) to distorted 3D scanned objects (Matthew Plummer-Fernandez) and parametric paper folding (Julien Deswaef).
For a complete overview of the workshop and its results, take a look at the Flickr tag “GX30″ which currently covers over 1000 uploads. Another important resource is iMAL’s wiki site Wikimal, which includes source code and tutorials published in connection with the workshop. Some participants have also published their own source code, such as Corneel Cannaert’s release of his Processing code to directly output G-code for Makerbot control.
In conclusion: Like Generator.x 2.0 before it, Generator.x 3.0 proved that the combination of generative strategies with digital fabrication continues to be a fruitful field for creative inquiry. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what is made possible by applying parametric modeling and data-driven processes to the imagining of objects and spatial structures.
Again, we’d like to thank iMAL for the invitation to collaborate on this project, which would not have been possible without the infrastructure and know-how that iMAL provided. But most importantly we’d like to thank all the workshop participants for getting in a room together and sharing of their experience. One of the real privileges of the Generator.x workshops on digital fabrication has been to bring artists, architects and designers together to see what can be learnt by juxtaposing their various fields of knowledge.
iMAL: Yves Bernard, Yannick Antoine, Marie-Laure Delaby and Greg Alveolis.
Workshop participants: Stéphane Perraud, Corneel Cannaerts BE, Hans Verhaegen, Jan Vantomme, Bert Balcaen + Ingrid Stojnic, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, Frederik Vanhoutte, Julien Deswaef, Katerina Konstantopoulos + Erato Choli, Frederik De Bleser + Lieven Menschaert, Jihyun Kim, Korea, Andrej Boleslavsky and Andreas Kahler.
Workshop coordinator: Marius Watz.
A disclaimer is in order: The following post is not original content, rather it is a collection of links provided by various people on a private mailing list. The initial request (from Memo Akten) was for “really hot data visualization”, and the following suggestions were made by some fairly knowledgeable people.
They are presented here as an unedited list of links, they are listed in the order they appeared on the list. Some are fairly new projects while others are well-known canonical works. Two new favorites are shown above, namely Social Collider and Synchronous Objects.
Some pseudo-random Info Viz links
- Tom Carden: “As always VisualComplexity and Infosthetics are good places to start.” Tom’s Delicious bookmarks on the subject is a treasure trove in its own right.
- A good survey article by Mitchell Whitelaw: Art Against Information: Case Studies in Data Practice
- Data Flow is an excellent book from Die Gestalten presenting an unconventional eye to visualization practices.
- Karsten Schmidt recommends:
- The ever-present Ben Fry: benfry.com/projects (Ben’s blog is an excellent read, by the way)
- Martin Wattenberg et al.: History Flow
- Marius Watz: Knight Capital Group
- Tom Carden’s work, see Stamen and www.tom-carden.co.uk.
- Karsten Schmidt & Sascha Pohflepp: Socialcollider (a Twitter visualization made as an experiment for Google Chrome)
- Karsten Schmidt: Base-26
- William Forsythe and ACCAD (lead generative designer Matthew Lewis): Synchronous Objects
- Emily Gobeille & Theodore Watson: Zanyparade (programmed elements combined with hand-drawn forms)
- Syl Eckermann & Gerald Nestler: Plastic Trade-Off
- Edward Tufte: Ask E.T. forum
Serero Architects: EIFFEL_DNA, generative design for extension of Eiffel Tower
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.
Commonwealth: Testing For.
The Generator.x 2.0 event ended almost two weeks ago, and we are busy trying to catch up with other things. The project was a big success, culminating in the exhibition opening which saw maybe 200 people turn up to look at the strange objects on display. Audiences responded enthusiastically to a show about digital media that did not have a single piece running on electrical power.
While most of the works in the show literally did not exist the week before, there were a few pre-selected pieces by people like Jared Tarbell, Theverymany (Marc Fornes and Skylar Tibbits) and Commonwealth.
An experimental studio straddling the divide between architecture, industrial design and pure research, Commonwealth’s work is marked by an amazing attention to surface as well as structure. Their contribution to Generator.x 2.0 is a prototype for a series of tables. CNC milled in Corian, the two panels feature patterns optimized both for visual detail and material transparency.
The following is their own description of the project (also, see Flickr):
Through the variation of embedded cells, this project explores pattern, tactility, and transparency. The exhibited prototypes are examples of material testing used in the development of a series of tables designed by Commonwealth in 2007.
Where the cells become deeper (and reciprocally the skin spanning each cell becomes thinner,) more light is passed through to the table top surface. As the cells become less deep, the graphic effect on the table surface is darker. A three-axis mill was used to test the process against the material properties of white, semi-transparent Corian, a grainless resin composite. Through minute increments of interconnected cell variation, a graphic gradient is produced.
Flickr: Commonwealth: Generator.x 2.0
Commonwealth vs Kenzo Minami: Closer
Commonwealth’s genius lies in the ability to marry pure form with graphic treatments, to the point where visual elements can’t be separated from the form itself. An excellent example is “Closer”, their collaboration with Kenzo Minami. Their response to Minami’s explosive graphics is a darkly erotic wall tile, its alien topography engraved with omninous visual details. The sheer tactility of these objects belies their origin as digital models, successfully disconnecting them from the world of the virtual.
This evening will see the second part of the public presentations of Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the Screen. While the focus is architecture, the speakers will come at the topic from very different angles, with more focus on virtual environments and parametric form than on housing units and retail space.
Presentations are 19:00-21:00 at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Naunynstrasse 27.
- Aram Bartholl [DE]
- Tim Schork – Mesne [DE / AUS]
- David Dessens [FR]
- Skylar Tibbits – Theverymany [US]
» Aram Bartholl [DE] trained as an architect, but has since turned his attention towards the intersection of physical and virtual space. Works such as Chat and WoW translate elements of computer culture into literal physical manifestations, enforcing their quality as cultural artifacts while challenging our acceptance of them.
» Tim Schork [DE / AUS] is an architect who explores digital tools within generative design processes, with an emphasis on fabrication and making. One half of experimental studio Mesne, Schork also lectures at RMIT University in Melbourne while pursuing PhD research that examines computational models in architecture.
» David Dessens [FR] has quickly become an inspiration within the VVVV community, known for his dynamic forms and strong graphic style. He will show his realtime performance systems at the Club Transmediale in concert with Fabian Lamar, as well as doing a VJ set.
» Skylar Tibbits [US] is one part of Theverymany, an architectural collective formed by Marc Fornes to explore “protocols of precise indetermination”. Together, they curated the recent Scriptedbypurpose exhibition, an important survey of the current trend of computational architecture. Theverymany is also taking part in the Generator.x 2.0 exhibition with Aperiodic_Vertebrae, a new installation composed of nearly 500 elements.
The Generator.x 2.0 workshop is now well underway, with participants starting to get to grips with the laser cutter and CNC mill. To give an idea of what we’re working on we’ve set up a project blog as well a Flickr group specifically for the workshop. Expect to see some early results in the next few days.
The first evening of public presentations saw plenty of Berliners turning up in numbers to hear some very interesting talks. Boris Müller gave an introduction to thinking computationally about design issues, exemplified by his series of projects for Poetry on the Road. A high point was his response to criticism of the 2006 edition, which used poems as datasets to create intricate graphs:
“Creating beutiful [sic] images to impress people is relatively easy, while making visualizations to explore, enable profound insights, and see the invisible, is extremely harder and requires a lot more devotion than this.” – Enrico Bertini
Besides the questionable truthfulness of the notion that creating beautiful images is easy, this criticism misses the point. The intention of Boris’ piece was never to “enable profound insights”, but to provide a visual context for the poetry festival. While his beautiful graphs do in fact constitute decodable data, that fact is all but incidental to their real function: To be visual poetry.
Satoru Sugihara presented his computational design work for Morphosis, in particular the Phare Tower in Paris. A 300 meter high skyscraper scheduled to be completed by 2012, Phare Tower will dwarf the nearby Arche de La Défense. Sugihara worked on optimizing the building’s window grid using physical models, taking both cost of construction and energy efficiency into account. The “skin” of the building includes metal plates placed at computed locations and angles, in order to reflect sunshine as well as produce a signature facade pattern.
Last presenter out was Eno Henze [DE], a generative artist whose ambivalence towards the use of computers only serves to give his work a greater depth. While his high-end interaction design for Meso is impressive, his work with spatialized computer drawings like Wirklichkeitsschaum and The Human Factor show a conceptual depth combined with a great attention to formal composition.
The second round of presentations tomorrow Monday should be a worthy followup, featuring Aram Bartholl, Tim Schork, David Dessens and Skylar Tibbits.
Generator.x 2.0 kicks off this Thursday with an evening of presentations open to the general public. This is the first of two such evenings, bringing the topics of the workshop to a larger audience and providing a discursive track to an otherwise hands-on event.
- Keynote: Marius Watz [NO]
- Boris Müller [DE]
- Satoru Sugihara – Morphosis [JP/US]
- Eno Henze [DE]
If you are in Berlin we hope to see you at the Ballhaus Naunynstrasse!
» Marius Watz [NO] is an artist exploring visual abstraction through generative systems, and has recently started using rapid prototyping to translate his forms into physical space. He is the founder of Generator.x as well as a lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO).
» Boris Müller [DE] is Professor of Interaction Design at FH Potsdam. Educated at the Royal College of Art in London, he is a veteran of computational designer. His series of works for Poetry on the Road has received multiple awards.
» Satoru Sugihara [JP/US] is a computational designer at the renowned architecture studio Morphosis, having previously worked with Greg Lynn Form and DR_D (Dagmar Richter). Possessing Master degrees in both computer Sscience and architecture, he uses parametric systems to investigate adaptive solutions to spatial problems.
» Eno Henze [DE] explores the duality between computational and human processes, often combining manual labor with generative systems. Dissatisfied with the screen as interface, he is constantly experimenting with innovative modes of presentation.
Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the screen is now only a week away, and we’re busy planning the last details. The call for participants was a definitive success, allowing us the privilege of a strong group of candidates to choose from. Participants were selected for the quality of their work as well as for their diverse approaches to digital fabrication. The result is an interesting mix of artists, architects and designers, united by their use of code-based processes, but showing very different strategies and intentions in their work.
For now the Club Transmediale site has the most complete list of Generator.x 2.0 events. In addition to the workshop and exhibition, there will also be two evenings of public presentations. A precise schedule with more details will be published here in the coming days.
- Andreas Nicolas Fischer (DE)
- Martin Bauer - Lasern (US)
- Nicholas Bruscia (US)
- David Dessens aka Sanch (FR)
- Fabio Franchino - TODO.IT (IT)
- Martin Fuchs - HyperWerk (CH)
- Eno Henze (DE)
- Leander Herzog - HyperWerk (CH)
- Andreas Krach - HyperWerk (CH)
- Holger Lippmann (DE)
- Giorgio Olivero - TODO.IT (IT)
- Dennis Paul - Art+Com (DE)
- Tim Schork - Mesne (DE/AUS)
- Susanne Stauch (DE)
- Satoru Sugihara – Morphosis (JP/US)
- Alessandro Tellini - HyperWerk (CH)
- Philip Whitfield - HyperWerk (CH)
- Daniel Widrig – MRGD (DE/UK)
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
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] clubtransmediale.de. 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 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.
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.