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...]
 
Tag: architecture
 

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Jorinde Voigt

Jorinde Voigt: Territorium (4), VI/aus: Position 1-x; Nord-Süd-Achse; Zentren A-Z; Position-Zentrum/Identisch; Territorium 1-x; Zentrum 1-x; N,S,W,O; Drehrichtung der Himmelsrichtung im Verlauf; Konstruktion; Dekonstruktion; Countup-Countdown-Loop: 1-x Tage; Kontinentalgrenze
Rome, 2010
70×100cm, ink, pencil on paper, signed original

The drawings of Jorinde Voigt are means to project order onto her environment. She formalizes and orders aspects, objects and impressions to form complex graphs, applying both objective (scientific) methods and subjective decisions. The system designs thus bear a scientific character, but upon closer inspection they can neither be generalized nor be deciphered in terms of applicability. The drawings constitute ’subjective abstractions’ that can only be read as aesthetic products, as symbols for the time’s penchant for formalization, and as such elude any concrete application as patterns or logic.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: SOFTlab

SOFTlab: (n)arcissus, 2010
Site-specific installation, laser cut mylar & acrylic

“(n)arcissus” is a site-specific spatial intervention in the stairwell of the Frankfurter Kunstverein, an artificial skin that drops down through the vertical space using gravity as a principle. By designing the form as a parametric model SOFTlab are able to manipulate the formal qualities of the final output while simultaneously optimizing it for physical construction. Their script breaks the surface down into individual surfaces for laser cutting, producing the unique modules needed to produce the larger structure.

Digital tools are not new to the field of architecture, but the last few years have seen an explosion in the use of generative systems combined with digital manufacturing processes. This new style of computational architecture explores the creation of complex forms based on parametric processes, giving rise to a new range of architectural expression while eliminating the economy of mass-produced form. Positioned at the heart of this movement, SOFTlab is an emerging architectural practice whose work combines scripted processes with knowledge of materials and principles of construction.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Patrick Raddatz

Patrick Raddatz: At the Control Room, 2007
Photographs, ca. 57×70cm framed

Control rooms are the nerve centers of a world permeated by systems of abstraction. In these concentrated places, the ‘status quo’ of the systems that surround us forms an aesthetic surface. Signals and values serve to make control decisions for the system. Here the human and the system communicate using the control room as an ‘interface’.

However, (information) architectures are only seemingly neutral and arranged according to inherent necessities. The photo series by Patrick Raddatz reveals how much user interfaces are not purely functional but are a ‘projection screen’ for the utopias of their times; subject to fashion and taste, they ultimately turn into cultural clichés of our society.

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abstraktAbstrakt: John Powers - God's Comic

John Powers: God's Comic, 2010
5 x 3 x 5 meters, Sculpture constructed from polystyrene blocks (site-specific unique installation)

The impenetrable geometries of John Powers’ abstract sculptures call to mind a wide range of influences, borrowing equally from art movements like postminimalism and pop culture icons like Star Wars. Meticulously constructed by hand, Power’s forms are constructed out of a limited formal vocabulary: Polystyrene blocks cut to a selection of preset sizes, attached to each other at 90 degree angles. The resulting structure gives the appearance of being a computer-aided design but is in reality the outcome of a human-executed algorithm, dictated by the artist’s intuition expressed through the repetitive action of connecting blocks.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Brandon Morse

Brandon Morse: Achilles, 2009
Multi-screen video

In “Achilles” we are presented with a collection of rigidly modeled three-dimensional grids, recalling the skeletons of tall buildings. Suspended in space and rendered in monochrome, they at first appear stable and solid. This illusion is broken as the forms begin to deform and collapse, their networks of vertices and lines collapsing as a result of simulated gravity.

Brandon Morse exploits the digital simulation of rigid body physics to construct static tableaux, only to be destroyed by inevitable collapse towards entropy. He makes no attempt at photorealistic trickery, simply allowing the event to unfold without adding any expressive affect. His compositions recall the formal language of minimalist sculpture, updated to include simulations of kinetic behavior.

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abstrakt Abstrakt: Louise Naunton Morgan

Louise Naunton Morgan: The Human Printer, 2008
Various sizes, felt tip on tracing paper

As “The Human Printer”, Louise Morgan offers her services of ‘printing’ images manually. In the same process as for offset printing, the motifs  are separated as CMYK halftones. These grids are then, dot by dot, meticulously transferred onto paper by hand. The motifs dissolve into a coarse technical structure with a washed-out quality that reminds of the approaches to representation invented by pointillists.

Morgan’s indifference toward the motifs that are ordered bespeaks a democratic image regime in her work, which is otherwise encountered only in the production lines of industrial photographic laboratories. At the same time, she makes a new case for technical image production in art, which has been discussed ever since Warhol’s Factory and Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.

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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.

 

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.

Eno Henze / Satoru Sugihara

Morphosis: Phare Tower / Eno Henze: The Human Factor

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.