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.
Below is a Twitter feed of tweets from Generator.x 3.0 participants. It’s perhaps a little late in the game considering that the Generator.x 3.0 workshop is on its next-to-last day, but still of interest in the runup to the exhibition which opens Friday 18:00 at iMAL, Brussels.
It’s been a full week of coding and fabricating, with some machine trouble underways but a great crew of people with interesting ideas. The Makerbots have been running constantly, with charming results. Documentation will be posted on Flickr, previews can already be found on iMAL’s photostream.
Thanks in particular to Yves, Marie-Laure and Yannick for being the excellent hosts of iMAL, and a special thanks to Greg for keeping the machines running.
Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms
Feb 18-26, 2012 at iMal, Brussels
Marius Watz: Form Studies (Makerbot)
Announcing Generator.x 3.0: From Code to Atoms, a workshop and exhibition focusing on digital fabrication and generative systems. This event is an evolution of Generator.x 2.0: Beyond the Screen, which took place in Berlin during Club Transmediale 2008. Generator.x 3.0 is produced by iMAL in collaboration with Marius Watz.
Context: Digital fabrication drastically changes manufacturing by democratizing access to industrial tools as well as changing the way objects are produced, opening the door for the on-demand creation of bespoke objects. Combined with the “craft” of code it becomes possible to directly connect parametric software processes to an instant manufacturing workflow, turning bits into atoms and introducing a paradigm that is radically different from traditional 3D modeling.
Generative systems shift the focus from static models towards a computational logic – what Bruce Sterling calls processuality. Here objects are understood as mere instances of a family of forms, produced by a specific interaction of parameters. Such forms may be data-driven or created through interactive means, adapting to conditions coded into the system. The artist becomes a “gardener” of possible forms, harvesting desirable results in an iterative process of coding and prototyping.
Workshop format: Participants will be chosen from a call for projects, with a focus on experience combining coding practices with digital fabrication. We will have large and powerful laser cutter machine on site, as well as several low-cost 3D Printers (Makerbots). The main software tool will be Processing (http://www.processing.org), but we also welcome users of other coding tools like VVVV, PD or OpenFrameworks.
The workshop will be hands-on and geared towards producing projects ready for exhibition at the end of the project. Participants will be expected to be familiar with code and generative strategies. There will be short tutorials demonstrating certain techniques, but the main focus is on the participants’ own independent work.
Call for projects: Submit projects or concepts for consideration through the online form on the iMAL web site.
Support: Generator.x 3.0 is produced by iMAL, and is made possible by the support of the Brussels-Capital Region, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and our sponsors Hackable-devices (Paris and Ghent) and i.materialise.
This is the first in a series of posts about the exhibition “abstrakt Abstrakt – The Systemized World”, which was part of the recent NODE10 festival in Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibition was curated by Eno Henze and Marius Watz to explore the use of abstract systems as artistic strategy and focus of aesthetic investigation.
This post consists of the curator text by Eno Henze. It will be followed by a series of posts describing all the works in the exhibition.
abstrakt Abstrakt – The Systemized World
NODE10 – Forum for Digital Arts
Frankfurter Kunstverein, Nov. 15-20, 2010
Artists: Ralf Baecker, FIELD, Ben Fry, Leander Herzog, Robert Hodgin, Thilo Kraft, Brandon Morse, Louise Naunton Morgan, John Powers, Patrick Raddatz, SOFTlab, Jorinde Voigt, Zimoun
The way of the world is increasingly controlled by relations and conditions that reside on an abstract plane. Cause and motivation for many events remain secret, because they trace back to invisible sets of rules that permeate our society and guarantee its functioning.
The two complementing events of the festival, exhibition and symposium, seek to analyze the nature and effect of such systems of abstraction. The exhibition draws upon artworks as visual evidence for the changing conditions of production in an abstract world. The symposium approaches the topic from a more theoretical perspective, facilitated by contributions from economists, scientists, artists and philosophers.
At first, abstraction appears as a method to contain certain properties of the world in a new medium. Formalized in this manner, these properties can be edited in a completely new way, demonstrating the power of abstraction as a productive tool. By these means the things of reality become transformable in an unprecedented way. This also implies a reversion of causality: the motivation for ‘real’ events now resides in an abstract place, in a certain constellation of values of the formalizing medium.
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 twitter.com/generatorx so far:
- Visualization: 2008 Presidential Candidate Donations: McCain vs. Obama http://is.gd/3iPS
- Erik Natzke goes to NextFest: http://is.gd/3mCb
- Martin Wattenberg talks to WIRED about big text data: http://is.gd/3mzI
- Knowledge Cartography – cartography as tool for communication and the production of meaning: http://is.gd/3lma Video: http://is.gd/3lmj
- Media Facades 2008 in Berlin looks interesting: http://is.gd/3kQQ
- Blinkenlights: Oldie but Goodie. http://is.gd/3irX Now with a library for Processing for creating Blinkenlights movies.
- Maxalot presents the projection series “Processing Light” tonight at Todaysart, The Hague: http://is.gd/3a9t.
- @anfischer has posted nice documentation of recent work on Flickr: http://is.gd/3a2a
- Podcast from Die Gestalten about Data Flow, their new book about visualization: http://is.gd/37Lm
- Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective http://is.gd/35jU, MASS MoCA
- Vizualizar’08: Database City – Call for papers http://is.gd/33bV. 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: http://is.gd/2Ytd
- Mitchell Whitelaw has an interesting new series: Limits to Growth http://is.gd/2WIR. See also his Flickr: http://is.gd/2WIU
- @toxi retweet : new blog post: Generative design in 4096 bytes or less (Will Wright & the 4k demoscene) http://is.gd/2UFj
- WMMNA has a nice summary of C.STEM 2008: Breeding Objects http://is.gd/2VJV.
- CORE.FORMULA has a nice blog post about Austrian sculptor Erwin Hauger: http://is.gd/2TIF. See also Flickr:http://is.gd/2TIO
- C.STEM 2008 – BREEDING OBJECTS currently underway in Turin, feat. fabbing and generative art. http://is.gd/2OTX
- Esther Stocker makes wonderful installations of grid structures in 2D and 3D: http://is.gd/2OTM
- New issue of Vague Terrain about curating net-based art, guest edited by CONT3XT.NET. http://is.gd/2DdM
- Blog post from @arikan: From Network Diagram to Structured Text http://tinyurl.com/5kb8g5
- C.STEM 2008 in Turin has a nice lineup of fabbing works : http://is.gd/2mEl (In Italian)
- Jeff Clark is doing some nice visualization work with a focus on social media: http://www.neoformix.com/
- Just created a Generator.x Twitter feed to compensate for long breaks between blog posts…
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.
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.
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.
Apologies in advance to anyone who has grown bored with the stream of posts about Generator.x 2.0, but the project isn’t quite over even though Club Transmediale ended nearly 3 weeks ago. Here are a few updates:
- At the vernissage in Berlin we had some visitors from Turin, including Bruce Sterling who is the guest curator of the Piemonte Share festival. The theme of Share this year is “manufacturing”, so discussions quickly began about the possibilities of taking the Generator.x 2.0 exhibition to Turin. As a result, Generator.x 2.0 will open in Turin March 11 as part of the Share festival.
- Regine Débatty just posted a very favorable review of the exhibition on We-make-money-not-art. She says it’s “the best show in town right now”, which is most welcome praise indeed.
- Quite a few videos from the vernissage have been posted online. Eno Henze has a good walkthrough of the exhibition, but there are also videos from MovingWeb, WatchBerlin and VernissageTV.
- Institut HyperWerk HGK FHNW was one of the partners for the Generator.x 2.0 workshop in Berlin. It now looks as though this collaboration will continue with a potential presence at the Ars Electronica festival later this year. Meanwhile, a generative fabbing workshop is currently underway at HyperWerk, with results being posted to Flickr.
CTM.08 / Generator.x 2.0: Audio-Visual
Fri Feb 1st, 20:00 – 23:00, Ballhaus Naunynstrasse
- Alexander Rishaug / Marius Watz
- Keiichiro Shibuya [JP]
- alva noto [DE]
CTM.08 and Generator.x present an evening of audiovisual concerts, consisting of three projects that use generative methods for live performance.The artists’ work is based on program code that integrates processes that develop over time autonomously. Music and image are therefore not “composed” in the usual sense of the word; the artists at most structure audio and visual output but without determining its every detail. The visual and acoustic material available to them is not pre-processed; it exists rather, only as matter to be subjected to and modified by certain development principles and rules of transformation in real time. Therefore chance and stochastic processes are major factors, while images can be mapped on audio parameters, and vice versa.
Alongside Alexander Rishaug’s audio miniatures in interaction with Marius Watz’s drawing machines, and Japanese Keiichiro Shibuya’s digital noise based on cellular automata, Carsten Nicolai aka alva noto will present his new project, “xerrox”, in which he explores the artistic potential and unpredictable results of copy processes. Nicolai demonstrates that the act of copying is itself a source of interesting, artistically valuable mistakes and mutations that permit each new generation of a copy to further liberate itself from the original and ultimately become an independent artwork with new meaning. In “xerrox” alva noto works exclusively with samples of Muzak – the wraparound sound ubiquitous in department stores, advertising, film scores and entertainment software – yet uses his own specially developed copying techniques to alter its melodic (micro-)structures beyond recognition.
Generator.x 2.0: Audio-Visual was curated by Jan Rohlf of the Club Transmediale.
[text from Club Transmediale]
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.